by Gérard Labrunie (1808 - 1855), as Gérard de Nerval
Translation © by David Jonathan Justman

Il est un air pour qui je donnerais
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Il est un air pour qui je donnerais
Tout Rossini, tout Mozart, tout Wèbre,
Un air très vieux, languissant et funèbre,
Qui pour moi seul a des charmes secrets!

Et, chaque fois que je viens à l'entendre,
De deux cents ans mon âme rajeunit...
C'est sous Louis treize; et je crois voir s'étendre
Un coteau vert, que le couchant jaunit,

Puis un château de brique à coins de pierre,
Aux vitraux teints de rougeâtres couleurs,
Ceint de grands parcs, avec une rivière
Baignant ses pieds, qui coule entre des fleurs;

Puis une dame, à sa haute fenêtre,
Blonde aux yeux noirs, en ses habits anciens,
Que, dans une autre existence peut-être,
J'ai déjà vue... et dont je me souviens!

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David Jonathan Justman) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 119

There is an air for which I would give
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 There is an air for which I would give
 All Rossini, all Mozart, all Weber,
 A very old, languid, funereal air,
 Which has secret charms for me alone.
 And every time I come to hear it,
 My heart becomes two hundred years younger...
 It's under Louis XIII, and I seem to see
 a green hill extending, yellowed by the setting sun.
 Then a brick chateau with corners of stone,
 With windows tinted in reddish colors,
 Surrounded by great parks, with a river
 Bathing its feet, flowing among the flowers;
 Then a lady at her high window,
 Blonde with black eyes, in her ancient clothes,
 Whom I had already seen, perhaps in another existence... And whom I remember!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Fantaisie" = "Fantasy"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by David Jonathan Justman, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 118