by Philippe Desportes (1545 - 1606)
Translation © by Judith Kellock

Cette fontaine est froide, et son eau...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Cette fontaine est froide, et son eau doux-coulante,
la couleur d'argent, semble parler d'Amour;
Un herbage mollet reverdit tout autour, 
Et les aunes font ombre à la chaleur brûlante.

Le feuillage obéit à Zéphyr qui l'évente,
Soupirant, amoureux, en ce plaisant séjour;
Le soleil clair de flamme est au milieu du jour,
Et la terre se fend de l'ardeur violente.

Passant, par le travail du long chemin lassé
Brûlé de la chaleur et de la soif pressé, 
Arrête en cette place où ton bonheur te mène;
L'agréable repos ton corps délassera,

L'ombrage et le vent frais ton ardeur chassera,
Et ta soif se perdra dans l'eau de la fontaine.

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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 (Judith Kellock) , "On a fountain", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Judith Kellock

This text was added to the website: 2007-01-15
Line count: 14
Word count: 109

On a fountain
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
This fountain is cold, and its water sweetly flowing,
The color of silver, it seems to speak of love;
A soft meadow grows green again all around,
And the alder trees cast shadows in the burning heat.

The meadow obeys the breeze that fans it.
Sighing amorously on its pleasant course;
The clear sun, flaming at midday,
Cracks open the earth in a violent heat.

Passing, after the labor of a long tired journey,
Parched from the heat, and burdened with thirst,
Stop at this spot where you have been guided to happiness;
In happy respose, your body will regain strength.

The shade and the fresh breeze will chase away the heat.
And your thirst will be quenched in the water of the fountain.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Judith Kellock, (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: 2007-01-15
Line count: 14
Word count: 124