by Edmond Rostand (1868 - 1918)
Translation © by Peter Low

Pastorale des cochons roses
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Le jour s'annonce à l'Orient,
De pourpre se coloriant,
Le doigt du matin souriant
Ouvre les roses !
Et sous la garde d'un gamin
Qui tient une gaule à la main,
On voit passer sur le chemin
Les cochons roses.

Le rose rare au ton charmant
Qu'à l'horizon, en ce moment,
Là-bas, au bord du firmament
On voit s'étendre,
Ne réjouit pas tant les yeux,
N'est pas si frais et si joyeux
Que celui des cochons soyeux
D'un rose tendre !

Le zéphir, ce doux maraudeur,
Porte plus d'un parfum rôdeur
Et dans la matinale odeur
Des églantines,
Les petits cochons transportés
Ont d'exquises vivacités
Et d'insouciantes gaietés
Presqu'enfantines ;

Heureux, poussant de petits cris,
Ils vont par les sentiers fleuris
Et ce sont des jeux et des ris
Remplis de grâces ;
Ils vont, et tous ces corps charnus
Sont si roses qu'ils semblent nus
Comme ceux d'amours ingénus
Aux formes grasses.

Des points oirs dans ce rose clair
Semblant des truffes dans leur chair,
Leur donnent vaguement un air
De galantine;
Et leur petit trottinement,
A cette graisse, incessamment,
Communique un tremblotement
De gélatine.

Le long du ruisseau floflottant,
Ils suivent tout en ronflotant
La blouse au large dos flottant
De toile bleue, ils trottent
Les petits cochons,
Les gorets gras et folichons,
Remuant les tire-bouchons
Que fait leur queue !

Puis, quand les champs sans papillons
Exhaleront de leurs sillons
Les plaintes douces des grillons
Toujours pareilles,
Les cochons rentrant au bercail
Défileront sous le portail
Agitant le double éventail
De leurs oreilles ;

Et quand là-bas, à l'Occident,
Croulera le soleil ardent,
A l'heure où le soir descendant
Ferme les roses,
Paisiblement couchés en rond,
Près de l'auge couleur marron,
Bien repus ils s'endormiront,
Les cochons roses !


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , title 1: "Pastorale of little pink pigs", copyright © 2001, (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: 64
Word count: 292

Pastorale of little pink pigs
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 Dawn is approaching in the east.
 Her touch awakens man and beast,
 the smallest rose and the least
         bud of mimosa.
 Along the path a peasant lad
 with a long stick in his hand,
 leads out a ragged band:
         les cochons roses.
 The charming pink, that special hue
 which in the east comes into view
 and drapes the clouds anew
         with subtle splendour
 is not so sweet a sight, I think,
 for my delighted eyes to drink
 as the swine in their silky pink
         so soft and tender.
 As the breeze which gently blows
 carries to every nose
 the scent of wild berry and rose
         wafting and straying,
 the piglets frolic free
 with the cheeky vivacity
 and the charming temerity
         of toddlers playing.
 They play like chubby happy babes.
 They fill the green and flowery glades
 with squeals and the pastel shade
         of rosy prawn.
 Each body full of health and food
 is so rosy it appears nude
 like a Cupid baring a cute
         and rounded belly.
 Freckles of black upon the pink
 provide a subtle visual link
 with truffles, and make one think:
         pâté or brawn.
 Each piglet's rapid trotting gait
 creates a wave at such a rate
 as to cause its flab to vibrate
         just like a jelly.
 The boy in the loose blue smock
 leads along the gurgling brook.
 They follow in a noisy flock.
         all snorting gaily.
 And as it trots, each little pork
 takes its hindquarters for a walk
 and twirls a curly stalk:
         one corkscrew taily.
 Then when the crickets' gentle whine
 and the church's melancholy chime
 announce that now the cooler time
         of sunset nears,
 they return along the lane
 back to the sty in which their day began,
 each waving still the double fan
         of two pink ears.
 And when the light has left the west,
 eyes close of man and beast,
 the finest rose and the least
      bloom of mimosa.
 Peacefully round their wooden trough,
 having roamed and frisked enough,
 bellies full, they all doze off,
         les cochons roses.


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2001 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: 64
Word count: 339