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

Le nuict m'est courte
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Le nuict m'est courte, et le jour trop me dure,
Je fuy l'amour, et le suy à la trace,
Cruel me suis, et requier' vostre grace,
Je prend plaisir au tourment que j'endure.

Je voy mon bien, et mon mal je procure,
Desir m'enflamme, et craincte me rend glace,
Je veus courir, et jamais ne desplace,
L'obscur m'est cler, et la lumier' obscure.

Vostre je suis, et ne puis estre mien,
Mon corps est libre, et d'un estroit lien
Je sen mon coeur en prison retenu.
Obtenir veus, et ne puis requerir,
Ainsi me bless', et ne me veut guerir
Ce vieil enfant, aveugl' archer, et nu.


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 (David Jonathan Justman) , title 1: "Night is short for 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: 14
Word count: 107

Night is short for me
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Night is short for me, and day lasts too long,
I flee from love, and follow in its tracks,
I am cruel to myself, and demand your grace,
I take pleasure in the torment I endure.

I see my good, and obtain my evil,
Desire enflames me, and fear turns me to ice.
I want to run, and never move,
Darkness is light to me, and light is dark.

I am yours, and cannot be mine,
My body is free, and by a tight bond
I feel my heart held in prison.
I want to obtain, and cannot request.
Thus that old child, that naked blind archer
Wounds me, and doesn't want to cure me.


  • 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: 14
Word count: 115