by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

Sweetheart, do not love too long
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
[Sweetheart, do]1 not love too long:
I loved long and long, 
And grew to be out of fashion
Like an old song. 

All through the years of our youth
Neither could have known 
Their own thought from the other's,
We were so much at one. 

But O, in a minute [she]2 changed --
O do not love too long, 
Or [you will]3 grow out of fashion
Like an old song.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 86.

1 Wilkinson: "O do"
2 Rorem: "he"
3 Wilkinson: "you'll"


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Oh, n'aime pas trop longtemps", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 69

Oh, n'aime pas trop longtemps
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
[Mon amour]1, n'aime pas trop longtemps :
J' ai aimé longtemps et longtemps,
Et fini par passer de mode,
Comme une vieille chanson.

Pendant toutes les années de notre jeunesse
Aucun de nous n'aurait pu distinguer
Ses propres pensées de celles de l'autre,
Tant nous étions un.

Mais oh, [elle]2 a changé en une minute –
Oh, n'aime pas trop longtemps
Ou tu finiras par passer de mode,
Comme une vieille chanson.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Wilkinson: "Oh"
2 Rorem: "il"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 by Pierre Mathé, (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: 2016-01-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 72