by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by Peter Low

Nature ornant la dame qui devoyt
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Nature ornant la dame qui devoyt
De sa douceur forcer les plus rebelles,
Luy fit present des beautez les plus belles,
Que des mille ans en espargne elle avoyt

Tout ce qu'Amour avarement couvoyt,
De beau, de chaste, et d'honneur soubz ses ailles,
Emmiella les graces immortelles
De son bel oeil qui les dieux emouvoyt.

Du ciel à peine elle estoyt descendue,
Quand je la vi, quand mon ame ésperdue
En devint folle: et d'un si poignant trait,

Le fier destin l'engrava dans mon ame,
Que vif ne mort, jamais d'une aultre dame
Empraint au cuoeur je n'auray le portraict.

About the headline (FAQ)

Modernized spelling:
Nature ornant la dame qui devait
De sa douceur forcer les plus rebelles
Lui fit présent des beautés les plus belles
Que dès mille ans en épargne elle avait.

Tout ce qu'Amour avarement couvait
De beau, de chaste et d'honneur sous ses ailes
Emmiella les grâces immortelles
De son bel oeil qui les dieux émouvait.

Du ciel à peine elle était descendue,
Quand je la vis, quand mon âme éperdue
En devint folle, et d'un si poignant trait

Le fier Destin l'engrava dans mon âme
Que, vif ne mort, jamais d'une autre dame
Empreint au coeur je n'aurai le portrait.


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 (Peter Low) , "Nature, when adorning that lady", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-10-28
Line count: 14
Word count: 100

Nature, when adorning that lady
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 Nature, when adorning that lady whose gentleness
 would compel the most recalcitrant,
 bestowed on her all the most beautiful features
 that she had been saving up for centuries.
 Everything fair and chaste and honourable
 that Eros was avariciously guarding under his wings
 went to sweeten the immortal graces
 of her beautiful eyes which excited the gods themselves.
 Scarcely had she descended from heaven
 than I saw her, and, distracted,
 became crazy about her... Proud Fate engraved her
 in my heart with such a sharp arrow
 that, whether alive or dead, I will never have the portrait
 of any other lady imprinted on my heart.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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: 14
Word count: 105