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

Quand je te vois, seule, assise, à part...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Quand je te vois, seule, assise, à part toi,
Toute [amusée]1 avecque ta pensée,
La tête un peu encontre bas baissée,
Te retirant du vulgaire et de moi,

Je veux souvent, pour rompre ton émoi,
Te saluer, mais ma voix offensée
De trop de peur se retient amassée
Dedans [ma]2 bouche et me laisse tout coi.

Souffrir ne puis les rayons de ta vue,
Craintive au corps mon âme tremble émue,
Langue ni voix ne font leur action.

Seuls mes soupirs, seul mon triste visage
Parlent pour moi, et telle passion
De mon amour donne assez témoignage.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Boni: "amassée"
2 Boni: "la"


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) , "When I see you sitting all by yourself", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Peter Low [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 97

When I see you sitting all by yourself
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
When I see you sitting all by yourself,
engrossed in your thoughts,
with your head somewhat lowered,
withdrawn from the crowd and from me,

then I often want to greet you, to interrupt
your moodiness; but my weakened voice,
excessively fearful, stays back
in my mouth, leaving me mute.

I cannot stand the brilliance of your appearance;
my soul quivers timorously in my body;
my tongue and vocal cords do not function.

Only my sighs, only my sad face
speak for me; and such passion
gives sufficient evidence of my love.


  • 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: 91