by Antoine Vialon (1814 - 1866)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Les animaux de Grandville
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Chorus
 On voit dans BUFFON dans CUVIER 1
 Tous les animaux par famille,
 Mais avec les gens chez GRANDVILLE,
 Ils ont un rapport singulier.
 Chantons ces images parfaites!
 Chantons tous ces originaux
 Qui souvent surpassent les bêtes
 Par leur mérite ou leurs défauts!


 Le LION, à large crinière,
 Sert de modèle aux élégants;
 Le TIGRE ardent et la PANTHERE
 Ont la cruauté des tyrans.
 Le LIMIER, alerte et rapide,
 Nous poursuit tout comme un huissier;
 Et l'usurier, toujours avide,
 A le coeur d'un vrai LOUP-CERVIER.
 Comme un CHAT plus d'un ténor chante;
 Le SINGE a l'air d'un vieux danseur,
 Le RAT-BLANC c'est la figurante,
 L'OURS, mal léché, certain autheur.
 Parmi la foule volatile
 Que de gens dont on voit les traits!
 Là, c'est le PIGEON trop docile,
 Ici, d'ennuyeux PERROQUETS.
 L'AIGLE a l'air d'un vieux de l'empire,
 Le jaloux ressemble au COUCOU,
 L'anarchiste au sombre VAMPIRE
 Et l'envieux au noir HIBOU.
 Le VAUTOUR est un égoïste,
 L'orgeuilleux est fier comme un PAON,
 Le CANARD c'est le journaliste,
 L'homme heureux c'est le MERLE BLANC.  (Chorus)

 La SAUTERELLE est écuyère;
 Le GOBE MOUCHE est grand flâneur;
 Le GOUJON est actionnaire
 Et le MERLAN mauvais coiffeur.
 Le SERPENT est chantre d'église;
 Le LIMAÇON suisse ou portier;
 Et la MOUCHE, en des filets prise,
 Le débiteur d'un usurier.
 Qui dit médicin, dit SANGSUE,
 Qui dit LEZARD, dit freluquet;
 Qui dit employé, dit TORTUE,
 Qui dit REQUIN, dit peu gourmet.
 Pour terminer cette revue
 Réservons, en types flatteurs.
 La DEMOISELLE à l'ingénue;
 Le RAMIER à maints voyageurs.
 Donnons la COLOMBE au novice;
 L'ABEILLE au bon ouvrier;
 La FAUVETTE à la cantatrice,
 Et l'HIRONDELLE au prisonnier.
 Offrons enfin l'AGNEAU fidèle,
 Ou bien le CYGNE à la beauté;
 Aux bons époux la TOURTERELLE
 Et le CANICHE à l'amitié. (Chorus)

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: Gérard Grandville (1803-1847): famous caricaturist in France.
1 Leclerc Buffon (1707-1788) and Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) were writers/scientists of natural history and zoology.

Authorship

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) , "Grandville's animals", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-10-14
Line count: 57
Word count: 292

Grandville's animals
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Chorus
 BUFFON and CUVIER 1 list
 all the animals by family,
 but they have a singular resemblance
 to GRANDVILLE'S people.
 Sing of these perfect images!
 Sing of these originals
 who often surpass the beasts,
 by their merits or their faults.


 The wide-maned LION 
 is a model for the elegant.
 The burning TIGER and the PANTHER
 have the cruelty of tyrants.
 The BLOODHOUND, alert and rapid,
 pursues us all like a bailiff,
 and the greedy usurer
 has the heart of a true LYNX.
 Many the tenor sings like a CAT.
 The MONKEY looks like an old dancer.
 The WHITE RAT has a walk-on part.
 The uncouth BEAR looks like some authors.
 And how many people in the changing crowd
 do we find among the animals.
 That PIGEON is too docile,
 those PARROTS annoying.
 The EAGLE looks like a relic of the empire.
 The jealous heart looks like a CUCKOO,
 the anarchist is a somber VAMPIRE
 and the envious person is a black OWL.
 The VULTURE is selfish,
 the proud resembles a PEACOCK.
 The DUCK is a journalist.
 The happy man is a RARE BIRD indeed.   (Chorus)

 The GRASSHOPPER is a circus rider,
 the FLYCATCHER a sluggard,
 the GUDGEON is a shareholder
 and the WHITING a bad hairdresser.
 The SNAKE is cantor in church,
 the SNAIL is a Swiss guard or a porter,
 and the FLY caught in a web is a debtor.
 LEECH means doctor,
 LIZARD, whippersnapper,
 TURTLE, employee.
 The SHARK isn't too fussy about what he eats.
 To finish our parade,
 here are a few flattering comparisons.
 The DRAGONFLY is the ingénue
 and many travelers look like WOOD DOVES.
 Let's assign the DOVE to the novice,
 the BEE to the hard worker,
 the WARBLER to the soprano
 and the SWALLOW to the prisoner.
 We'll offer the faithful LAMB
 or the SWAN to the beauty,
 the TURTLEDOVE to a faithful married couple
 and the POODLE to friendship.  (Chorus)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2003 by Faith J. Cormier, (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.
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This text was added to the website: 2003-10-14
Line count: 56
Word count: 317