by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)
Translation © by Sylvain Labartette

I woke before the morning
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
I woke before the morning,
I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word,
but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun
is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy,
for I know that I've been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh,
with linen smooth and fair,
And I must off to sleep again,
and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till tomorrow
I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind,
no ugly sight my eyes,

But slumber hold me tightly
till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing
in the lilacs round the lawn.

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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)

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Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Un gentil garçon", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 116

Un gentil garçon
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Je me suis réveillé avant le matin, 
j'ai été content toute la journée,
Je n'ai jamais dit un gros mot 
mais ai été souriant et tranquille pour jouer ;

Et maintenant, enfin, le soleil se couche 
derrière le bois
Et je suis très heureux 
de savoir que j'ai été gentil.

Mon lit m'attend douillet et frais 
avec des draps doux et agréables
Et je me dois de me coucher 
sans oublier ma prière.

Je sais que demain, 
je verrai le soleil se lever;
Aucun vilain rêve ne troublera mon esprit, 
ni vilaine image mes yeux.

Mais le sommeil me tiendra fermement 
jusqu'à ce que je m'éveille à l'aube
Et que j'entende les grives chanter 
dans les lilas près de la pelouse.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2007 by Sylvain Labartette, (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: 2007-11-15
Line count: 20
Word count: 121