by (Paul) Jules Barbier (1825 - 1901) and by Michel Carré (1822 - 1872)
Translation © by John Glenn Paton

Le bonheur est chose légère
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
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.

Authorship

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, 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
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
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.

Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-14
Line count: 20
Word count: 77