by Armand Silvestre (1837 - 1901)
Translation © by Thomas A. Gregg

Quand ton sourire me surprit
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Quand ton sourire me surprit,
Je sentis frémir tout mon être,
Mais ce qui domptait nous esprit,
Je ne pus d'abord le connaître.

Quand ton regard tomba sur moi,
Je sentis mon âme se fondre ;
Mais ce que serait cet émoi,
Je ne pus d'abord en répondre.

Ce qui me vainquit à jamais, 
Ce fut un plus douloureux charme,
Et je n'ai su que je t'aimais
Qu'en voyant ta première larme !

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Poésies de Armand Silvestre, 1872-1878. La Chanson des Heures, Paris, Alphonse Lemerre, 1887, page 188.


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 (Thomas A. Gregg) , "When your smile surprised me", copyright ©, (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: 12
Word count: 73

When your smile surprised me
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 When your smile surprised me,
 I felt a shudder through my entire being,
 But what tamed my spirit,
 At first I did not recognize.
 When your glance fell on me,
 I felt my soul melt,
 But what that emotion was,
 At first I could not answer it.
 What conquered me forever,
 That was a charm more sad,
 And I did not know that I loved you,
 Until I saw your first tear.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Thomas A. Gregg, (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: 12
Word count: 73