by Catulle Mendès (1841 - 1909)
Translation © by Garrett Medlock

Le menuet
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Lents saluts et spirale exquise,
Il ondule sans désarroi
Avec la majesté d’un roi
Offrant le poing à la Marquise.

Il soumettait Louis Soleil
Suivi d’étoiles favorites
Aux gràces graves de ses rites;
Et, dans Versaille au grand sommeil,

Les arbres le dansent encore
Sous la brise, pompeusement!
Mais déjà, superbe et charmant,
Les dieux qu’enseignait Terpsichore

Avaient dansé le Menuet
Sur la cime du mont suprême,
Lents, augustes, sans clin d’oeil, même
Quand le tonnerre éternuait!


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 (Garrett Medlock) , "The minuet", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-01-12
Line count: 16
Word count: 77

The minuet
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Slow salutes and [an] exquisite spiral,
It ripples without disarray
With the majesty of a king
Offering a [hand] to the Marquise.

It subdued Louis the Sun King
Followed by favorite stars
To the serious graces of his rites;
And, in Versaille, in noble sleep

The trees still dance it
In the breeze pompously!
But already, beautiful and charming,
The gods who taught Terpsichore

Had danced the Minuet
On the summit of the highest mountain,
Slow, august, without a wink, even
When the thunder sneezed!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Garrett Medlock, (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: 2019-01-11
Line count: 16
Word count: 85