Translation © by Iain Sneddon

La belle est au jardin d'amour
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La belle est au jardin d'amour, 
Voilà z’un mois ou six semaines, 
Son père la cherche partout 
Et son amant est bien en peine.
Berger, berger, n'as-tu pas vu 
N'as-tu pas vu la beauté même?

‘Comment est-elle donc vêtue?
Est-elle en soie est-elle de laine?’ 
Elle est vêtue de satin blanc, 
Et dans ces mains blanches mitaines;
Ses chevaux, qui flottent aux vent,
Ont une odeur de marjolaine.

Elle est là-bas dans ces vallons, 
Assise au bord d'une fontaine; 
Dans ses mains tient un bel oiseau, 
A qui la bell’ conte sa peine.
Petit oiseau, tu es heureux 
D'être entre ainsi auprès de ma belle !

Et moi je suis son amoureux, 
Je ne puis m'approcher d'elle.
Peut on être auprès du rosier, 
Sans pouvoir cueillir la rose? 
‘Cueillissez si vous voulez,
Car c'est pour vous qu'elle est déclose.’


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

Set in a modified version by Benjamin Britten, Tage Nielsen, Willem Pijper.

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

  • ENG English (Iain Sneddon) , "Beauty is in the garden of love", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-06-17
Line count: 24
Word count: 139

Beauty is in the garden of love
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Beauty is in the garden of love,
There for a month or six weeks,
Her father is looking for her everywhere
And his lover is in pain.
Shepherd, shepherd, did not you see
Have not you seen beauty itself?

'How is she dressed?
Is she in silk, is she in wool?’
She is dressed in white satin,
And in those white mittens hands;
Her tresses, floating in the wind,
Have the perfume of marjoram.

She is there in these valleys,
Sitting at the edge of a fountain;
In her hands is a beautiful bird,
To whom the beauty tells her sorrows.
Little bird, you are happy
To be between so near my beauty!

And me, I am her lover,
I cannot get close to her.
Can we be near the rose bush,
Without being able to pick the rose?
'Pick it if you want,
Because it is for you that it opens.'

Folksong from the Poitou province in west-central France.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Iain Sneddon, (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: 2019-06-17
Line count: 24
Word count: 152