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

La gavotte
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Elle est douairière et puis faunesse,
Vieille qui n’a pas froid aux yeux;

Et naguère encore les vieux 
Y redansèrent leur jeunesse.

Ses cheveux sont de neige, oui,
Mais cette perruque qui tremble
Comme de blancs papillons, semble
Un pommier frais épanoui;

Et l’on ne sait, quand la secoue
Le rythme antique et puéril,
Si c’est de décembre où d’avril
Qu’elle poudre l’oeil et la joue.


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 gavotte", 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: 12
Word count: 66

The gavotte
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
It is [a] dowager and then [a] faun,
An old woman who has no coldness in her eyes;
And once again the old
Redance their youth.

Its hair is made of snow, yes,
But this wig that trembles
Like white butterflies, resembles
An apple freshly blossomed;

And no one knows, when it shakes
The rhythm ancient and childish,
Whether it is December or April
With which it powders its eye and its cheek.


  • 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: 12
Word count: 73