Translation © by Peter Low

Ils se disent, ma colombe
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG SPA
Ils se disent, ma colombe,
Que tu rêves, morte encore,
Sous la pierre d'une tombe :
[Mais pour l'âme qui t'adore]1,
Tu t'éveilles [ranimée]2,
Ô pensive bien-aimée !

Par les blanches nuits d'étoiles,
Dans la brise qui murmure,
Je caresse tes longs voiles,
Ta mouvante chevelure,
Et tes ailes demi-closes
Qui voltigent sur les roses !

Ô délices ! je respire
Tes divines tresses blondes !
Ta voix pure, cette lyre,
Suit la vague sur les ondes,
Et, suave, les effleure,
Comme un cygne qui se pleure !

G. Schubert sets stanzas 1, 3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théodore de Banville, Poésies complètes: Les exilés: Odelettes, Améthystes, Rimes dorées, Rondels, Les Princesses, Trente-Six Ballades Joyeuses, Paris, G. Charpentier et Cie, 1887, page 129.

1 Gounod: "Non, tu vis que je t'adore!"; G. Schubert: "tu vis, car je t'adore!"
2 Hahn: "réanimée"


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) , no title, copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Raedcavid De Jesús) , "La enamorada", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Erkki Pullinen

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 88

They say, my dove
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
They say, my dove,
that you are still dead and dreaming
beneath a tombstone;
but you awaken, revived,
for the soul that adores you,
oh pensive beloved!

Through the sleepless nights,
in the murmuring breeze,
I caress your long veils,
your swaying hair
and your half-closed wings
which flutter among the roses.

Oh delights!  I breathe
your divine blond tresses!
Your pure voice, a kind of lyre,
moves on the swell of the waters
and touches them gently, suavely,
like a lamenting swan!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of titles:
"L'âme de la morte" = "The soul of the dead one"
"L'âme d'un ange" = "The soul of an angel"
"L'énamourée" = "The beloved one"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2002 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: 18
Word count: 83