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

Petite Nymfe folatre
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Petite Nymfe folatre,
Nymfette que j'idolatre,
Ma mignonne dont les yeus
Logent mon pis et mon mieus:
Ma doucette, ma sucrée,
Ma grace, ma Citherée,
Tu me dois pour m'appaiser
Mille fois le jour baiser.

Tu m'en dois au matin trente
Puis après disner cinquante,
Et puis vingt après souper.
Et quoy! Me veux-tu tromper ? 

[Avance mes quartiers, belle,
Ma tourtre, ma colombelle ;
Avance-moy les quartiers
De mes payments tous entiers.]1

Demeure ; où fuis-tu, maistresse ?
Le desir qui trop me presse
Ne sçauroit arrester tant
S'il [n'est payé tout]2 contant.

Revien, revien, mignonette,
Mon doux miel, ma violette,
Mon oeil, mon coeur, mes amours
Ma cruelle, qui tousjours
Trouves quelque mignardise
Qui d'une douce feintise
Peu à peu mes forces fond,
Comme on void dessus un mont
S'escouler la neige blanche,
Ou comme la rose franche
Perd le [vermeil de son teint,
Des rais du soleil]3 attaint.

Où fuis-tu, mon [angelette]4,
Mon diamant, ma perlette ?
[Là]5 reviens, mon sucre doux,
Sur mon sein, sur mes genoux,
Et de cent baisers appaise
De mon coeur la chaude braise.

Donne-m'en bec contre bec,
Or' un moite, ores un sec,
Or' un babillard, et ores
Un qui soit plus long encores
Que ceux des pigeons mignars,
Couple à couple fretillars.

Hà là ! ma douce guerrière,
Tire un peu ta bouche arrière :
Le dernier baiser donné
A tellement estonné
De mille douceurs ma vie
Qu'il me l'a presque ravie,
Et m'a fait voir à demy
Le nautonnier ennemy
Et les plaines où Catulle,
Et les rives où Tibulle,
Pas à pas se promenant,
Vont encores maintenant
De leurs bouchettes blesmies
Rebaisottans leurs amies.

J. Castro sets stanza 1
C. Janequin sets stanza 1
F. Regnard sets stanzas 1, 6
F. Caietain sets stanza 1
A. Utendal sets stanzas 1, 3-6

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Utendal:
Avance mon quartier, belle,
Ma tourtre, ma colombelle ;
Avance-moy le quartier
De mes payments tout entier.
2 Utendal: "n'a son payment"
3 Utendal: "pourpre de son teint,/ Du vent de la bize"
4 Regnard: "amelette"
5 Regnard, Utendal: "Las ! "


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) (David Wyatt) , "Frolicsome little Nymph", copyright © 2012, (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: 58
Word count: 276

Frolicsome little Nymph
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Frolicsome little Nymph,
Nymphette I idolize,
my sweetheart in whose eyes
I see my best and my worst,
my darling, my sweet,
my graceful one, my Cytherea:
to calm me you must kiss me
a thousand times a day.

You owe me thirty of them in the morning,
Then after dinner fifty,
And then twenty after supper.
What?  Are you trying to cheat me?!

Advance me one quarter, my fair one,
My turtledove;
Advance me [every quarter's]1
Remuneration all together!

Wait!  Where are you going, mistress?
The desire which presses on me so
Cannot stop like that
If it is not [completely]2 happy 
with its payment.

Come back, come back, sweetie,
My honey, my violet,
Apple of my eye, my heart, my love:
O my cruel one, who always
Find some charming trick
Which with its sweet deception
Bit by bit overcomes my strength,
Just as you see atop a mountain
The white snow suddenly rush down,
Or as the fresh rose
Loses the [redness of its colour,
When struck by the sun's rays.]3

Where are you going, my little angel4
My diamond, my little pearl?
Come back, my sweetheart
To my breast, my lap,
And with a hundred kisses calm
The burning fire in my heart.

Give me them lips against lips,
One wet, one dry,
One babbling, and one
Which is still longer 
Than those of loving doves
Fluttering couple by couple.

Aha, my sweet warrior,
Draw back your mouth a little:
That last kiss you gave
Has so overwhelmed
My life with a thousand pleasures
That it has practically torn it from me,
And has made me half-see
The enemy sailor
And the plains where Catullus
And the banks where Tibullus
Wandered pace by pace,
And still go now
Again, with their pallid lips
Giving their lovers gentle kisses.

View original text (without footnotes)
Faith Cormier: first stanza ; David Wyatt : the rest
1 Utendal: "a quarter's"
2 omitted by Utendal.
3 Utendal: "purple of its colour,/ When struck by the breeze of a kiss"
4 Regnard: "soul"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Faith J. Cormier and David Wyatt, (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: 2012-07-26
Line count: 59
Word count: 302