by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Je suis homme nè pour mourir
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Je suis homme nè pour mourir,
Je suis bien seur que du trespas
Je ne me sçaurois secourir
Que poudre je n'aille là-bas.
  Je cognois bien les ans que j'ay,
Mais ceus qui me doibvent venir,
Bons ou mauvais, je ne les sçay,
Ny quand mon age doit finir.

  Pource fuyés vous-en, esmoy,
Qui rongés mon coeur à tous cous,
Fuyés vous-en bien loing de moy,
Je n'ay que fair' avecques vous.  
  Au moins avant que trespasser,
Que je [paisse]1 à mon ais' un jour
Jouer, sauter, rir', et dancer,
Avecque Bacchus, et Amour.

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Note: this poem, in imitation of Anacreon, is grouped below Εις εαυτον in Anacréon et les Poèmes anacréontiques, ed. by Achille Delboulle, Havre, Lemale et Cie, 1891, pages 79-80.

1 Castro: "puis"


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 (Faith J. Cormier) , "I am a man born to die", copyright © 2000, (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: 95

I am a man born to die
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I am a man born to die.
I am certain that
I cannot save myself from death,
from descending into death.
Well I know the years I have had,
but those that are to come,
good or bad, I do not know,
nor when my age shall end.

Flee, confusion
that gnaws at my heart at all costs.
Flee far from me.
I have nothing to do with you,
unless, before I die,
some day I may 
play and jump, laugh and dance,
with Bacchus and Love.

Note: this is a translation of Castro's version.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Faith J. Cormier, (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: 16
Word count: 87