by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Who is Silvia? what is she?
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FIN FRE SPA
Who is Silvia? what is she?
That all our Swaines commend her?
Holy, faire, and wise is she.
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kinde as she is faire?
For beauty lives with kindnesse:
Love doth to her eyes repaire,
To helpe him of his blindnesse:
And being help'd, inhabits there.

Then to Silvia, let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortall thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling.
To her let us Garlands bring.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 33 of the Comedies.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kuka on Silvia?", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À Silvia", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Carlo Rusconi) , first published 1859
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "¿Quién es Silvia?", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 85

À Silvia
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Qui est Silvia , dites-le moi,
Que toute la campagne célèbre ?
Belle et douce je la vois approcher,
Par la faveur et la marque que le ciel lui accorde
À elle tous sont soumis.

Est-elle belle et bonne en plus ?
Sa beauté réconforte comme la tendresse de l'enfance ;
Vers ses yeux Amour se presse,
Pour y guérir de son aveuglement,
Et rester dans un doux repos.

Alors pour Silvia, retentis, ô chant,
En l'honneur de l'aimable Silvia.
Elle dépasse de loin toute beauté
Qu'on peut voir sur terre :
Pour elle couronnes et accords !


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2008 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2008-11-26
Line count: 15
Word count: 98