by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Rossignol mon mignon, qui dans cette...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Rossignol mon mignon, qui [dans]1 cette saulaie
Vas seul de branche en branche à [ton gré]2 voletant,
[Degoisant à l'envie]3 de moi qui vais chantant
Celle [qui faut]4 toujours que dans la bouche j'aie.

Nous soupirons tous deux; ta douce voix s'essaie
[De flechir celle-là, qui te va tourmentant,
Et moi, je suis aussi cette-là regrettant]5
Qui m'a fait dans le coeur une si aigre plaie.

Toutefois, [Rossignol]6, nous différons d'un point
C'est que tu es aimé, et je ne le suis point,
Bien que tous deux ayons les Musiques pareilles:

Car tu fléchis t'amie au doux bruit de tes sons,
Mais la mienne qui prend à dépit mes chansons
Pour ne les écouter se bouche les oreilles.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Boni, Maletty, Rivier: "par"
2 Rivier: "jamais"
3 Boni, Maletty, Rivier, Roussel: "Et chantes à l'envie"; Le Jeune: "Et chantes à l'ennuy"
4 Maletty: "qui fait" ; Rivier, Roussel: "qu'il faut"
5 Boni, Maletty, Rivier: "De sonner les amours d'une qui t'aime tant,/ Et moi triste je vais la beauté regrettant" ; Le Jeune: "A sonner l'amitie d'une qui t'aime tant,/ Et moi triste je vais la beauté regrettant"; Roussel: "De sonner l'amitié d'une qui t'aime tant,/ Et moi triste je vais la beauté regrettant"
6 Boni, Ronsard: "mon mignon"


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) , "Fair nightingale", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-04-24 08:24:29
Line count: 14
Word count: 118

Fair nightingale
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Fair nightingale, flitting as you will 
from branch to branch of the willows, alone, 
singing [as I would that I could sing]1 
[She who must always be]2 in my mouth. 

We both sigh. Your sweet voice tries 
to sound the love of one who loves you so, 
and I sadly regret the beauty 
who has so wounded my heart. 

There is one difference between us, [nightingale]3, 
although we both have the same music. 
You are loved, and I am not. 

Your love yields before the sweet sounds you make, 
but mine scorns my songs and covers her ears 
so as not to hear them.

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: this is a translation for Boni, Maletty, Le Jeune, Rivier, and Roussel.
1 Le Jeune: "to my annoyance as I sing"
2 Maletty: "She who makes me always have her"
3 Boni: "my sweet"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 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.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2005-02-02 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-04-24 08:40:30
Line count: 14
Word count: 104