by Joachim du Bellay (1525 - c1560)
Translation © by David Jonathan Justman

Belaud, mon petit chat gris
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La tête à la taille pareille,
Une barbelette argentée,
Son musequin damoiselet.
Mon Dieu, quel passetemps, c'était
Quand ce Belaud vire-voltait
Folâtre autour d'une pelote!
Quel plaisir, quand sa tête sotte
Suivant sa queue en mille tours,
D'un rouet imitait le cours!
Ô quel malheur! ô quelle perte,
Qui ne peut être recouverte!
Oui, j'ai perdu depuis trois jours
Mon plaisir, mon bien, mes amours!
Vraiment la mort fut inhumaine,
Si de voir elle eût pris la peine
Un tel chat, son coeur endurci
En eût eu (ce crois-je) merci.
Que plût à Dieu, petit Belaud,
Que j'eusse l'esprit assez bon,
De pouvoir en quelque beau style
Blasonner ta race gentille,
Belaud, dont la beauté fut telle,
Qu'elle est digne d'être immortelle!
Belaud, mon petit chat!
Belaud, mon petit chat gris!


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 (David Jonathan Justman) , "Belaud, my little gray cat!", 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: 25
Word count: 131

Belaud, my little gray cat!
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
His well-formed head,
Silvered whiskers,
His damsel-like muzzle.
My God, what entertainment it was
When this Belaud spun insanely
Around a ball.
What a pleasure, when his silly head,
Following his tail a thousand times
Imitated the run of a spinning wheel.
O what a sorrow!  O what a loss,
Which cannot be recovered!
Yes, three days ago I lost
My pleasure, my good, my loves.
Truly Death was inhuman;
If she took the trouble of seeing
Such a cat, she should have 
had mercy on it, I believe.
May God will, little Belaud,
That I may be witty enough
To be able to blazon your gentle race,
In some beautiful style.
Belaud, whose beauty was such,
That it is worthy of being immortal.
Belaud, my little cat!
Belaud, my little gray cat!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by David Jonathan Justman, (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: 25
Word count: 133