by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?
Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown,
Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down?

About the headline (FAQ)


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Qu'est-ce que je gagne si je gagne ?", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-05-06
Line count: 7
Word count: 61

Qu'est‑ce que je gagne si je gagne ?
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Qu'est-ce que je gagne si je gagne la chose que je cherche ?
Un rêve, un souffle, une écume de joie qui flotte.
Qui achète une joie d'une minute pour gémir une semaine ?
Ou vend une éternité pour avoir un jouet ?
Pour une douce grappe qui détruirait la vigne ?
Ou pour toucher la couronne  quel mendiant fou
Voudrait bien être frappé avec le sceptre ?


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2015-09-19
Line count: 7
Word count: 68