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Le bonheur est chose légère, Passagère, On croit l'attendre, on le poursuit, Il s'enfuit! Hélas! Vous en voulez un autre Que le nôtre; Il faut à vos ardents désirs Des plaisirs. Dieu vous préserve des alarmes Et des larmes Qui peuvent assombrir le cours Des beaux jours. Si jamais votre coeur regrette La retraite Qu'aujourd'hui vous abandonnez, Revenez! De tous les chagrins de votr'âme, Je réclame Pour notre fidèle amitié La moitié.
- by (Paul) Jules Barbier (1825 - 1901), written 1864 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Michel Carré (1822 - 1872), written 1864 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921), "Le bonheur est chose légère", 1864, published 1890 [high voice, piano, violin ad libitum], Durand [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (John Glenn Paton) , title 1: "Happiness is a light thing", copyright © 2009, (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: 20
Word count: 72
Happiness is a light thing, passing; one waits for it, pursues it, it vanishes! Alas, you want some other happiness than ours; your ardent desires require pleasures. May God keep you from alarms and tears that could darken the course of your beautiful days. If your heart ever misses the safe refuge that you are giving up today, come back! Whatever your soul's disappointments, I will claim, for the sake of our faithful friendship, half of them.
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2009 by John Glenn Paton, (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.
- a text in French (Français) by (Paul) Jules Barbier (1825 - 1901), written 1864 and by Michel Carré (1822 - 1872), written 1864
This text was added to the website: 2009-10-14
Line count: 20
Word count: 77