by Armand Silvestre (1837 - 1901)
Translation © by Andrew Schneider

Sonnet païen
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Rosa, Rosa, l'air est plus doux qui baigne ta poitrine;
Avril emplit d'odeurs les feuillages ombreux.
Tout renaît, et le long des sentiers amoureux,
Partout saigne la rose et neige l'aubépine!

La fleur sous les boissons entr'ouvre un oeil peureux
Et livre au vent du soir, l'or de son étamine;
Tout aime! Viens, Rosa! viens! les amants sont heureux
À l'ombre du grand bois qui pend à la colline!

Rosa! Rosa! l'air est plus doux qui baigne ta poitrine!
Mais, Rosa la prêtresse ignore les frissons
Qu'avril nous porte avec ses blanches floraisons;
Jamais les doux gazons n'ont baisé sa sandale.
Des ténèbres du temple elle cherche l'horreur,
Et du feu qui nous brûle, immoble vestale,
Garde comme un autel le tombeau de son coeur.


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 (Andrew Schneider) , "Pagan sonnet", copyright © 2018, (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: 15
Word count: 125

Pagan sonnet
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Rosa, Rosa, the air that bathes your breast is so much sweeter!
April fills the shady foliage with such luscious aromas.
All is born anew, and the rose bleeds,
the hawthorn snows along amorous promenades everywhere!

The flower 'neath the beverages opens a fearful eye
and hands over to the evening wind the gold of its stamen.
Everything loves! Come, Rosa, come! Lovers are happy
by the shade of the great forest hanging near the hills.
Rosa, Rosa, the air that bathes your breast is so much sweeter!
But Rosa, the priestess, ignores the thrills 
that April brings us with her white blooms!
The sweet lawns have never kissed her sandal.
She seeks out out the horrors of the temple's shades,
and the immoble Vestal, guards the tomb of her heart
from the fire which burns us like an altar.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2018 by Andrew Schneider, (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: 2018-07-19
Line count: 15
Word count: 140