by Constance Pipelet de Salm (1767 - 1845)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Conseils aux femmes
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Jeunes beautés qu'Amour enflamme,
Jeunes beautés, écoutez-moi.
Craignez d'abandonner votre âme
Au Dieu dont vous suivez la loi.
Source de joye et de tristesse
C'est un ingrat, c'est un enfant
Il faut user d'un peu d'adresse
Et l'enchainer en lui cédant.

L'amour pour vous est une affaire,
L'amour pour l'homme est un plaisir:
S'il est jaloux par caractère,
Il est volage par désir.
Imitez-le quand il s'envole,
Quand il s'irrite, osez le fuir:
Il reviendra chercher l'idole,
Dès qu'il faudra la conquérir.

Souvent, plus amoureux que tens
Un amant choque innocemment
Il voit nos pleurs sans les comprendre
Et blesse encore en s'excusant
D'une fausse délicatesse
N'allez point alors vous armer
Songez qu'un peu de mal adresse
N'empêche pas de bien aimer.

Sur tout montrez avec finesse
Cet esprit fait pour engager,
L'homme est injuste en sa faiblesse
Il faut savoir la ménager.
De lui feignez de tout apprendre
Il amie à montrer son savoir,
Vous le verrez d'autant plus tendre
Que vous le ferez mieux valoir.

Ne pleurez jamais un volage,
Ne cherchez point à l'outrager:
Ce n'est qu'en montrant du courage
Qu'une femme doit se venger.
Pourtant évitez le coupable
Vos feux pourraient se rallumer:
On trouve toujours trop aimable
L'homme qu'on doit cesser d'aimer.

Quand du tems la faulx redoutable
Viendra moissonner vos attraits,
Qu'un esprit toujours plus aimable
Fasse oublier un teint moins frais.
On attire par la figure,
Mais on conserve par l'esprit;
Et l'esprit est une parure
Que jamais le tems ne flétrit.

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , title 1: "Advice to women", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Auditorium du Louvre

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 249

Advice to women
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Young beauties, enflamed by Love, 
young beauties, listen to me. 
Fear to abandon your soul 
to the god whose law you follow. 
Source of joy and sorrow,
he's an ungrateful child 
and you need a bit of skill 
to bind him while bending before him. 

For you, love is business. 
For a man, love is pleasure.
He's jealous by nature, 
but flighty by desire. 
Imitate him when he flies off. 
When he gets annoyed, flee him: 
He'll be back after her idol 
as soon as he has to conquer her. 

Often, more in love than anything, 
a lover upsets us innocently. 
He sees our tears without understanding them 
and hurts us more with his apologies. 
Don't arm yourself 
with false delicacy. 
After all, a bit of awkwardness 
doesn't prevent someone from loving truly. 

Above all, show with finesse 
a spirit made for commitment. 
Man is unfair in his weakness.
You have to know how to manage him. 
Pretend that you learn everything from him. 
He likes to parade his wisdom. 
You'll see that he will be more tender
the more you let him show it off. 

Never cry for a fickle man 
or try to insult him: 
only by showing courage 
can a woman avenge herself. 
Stay away from the guilty one, though, 
for your fires could spring back to life. 
The men we have to stop loving 
are always so lovable! 

When time, the fearful reaper, 
comes to harvest your charms, 
let a more loving spirit make him
forget that your cheeks are a little less fresh. 
We attract them with our figures, 
we keep them with our spirits, 
and the spirit is an adornment 
that never fades with time.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2004 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.
    Contact: 

Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2004-04-12
Line count: 48
Word count: 281