by John Dryden (1631 - 1700)
Translation © by Mercedes Vivas

Fairest Isle
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER SPA
Fairest isle, all isles excelling,
Seat of pleasure and of love
Venus here will choose her dwelling,
And forsake her Cyprian grove.
Cupid from his fav'rite nation
Care and envy will remove;
Jealousy, that poisons passion,
And despair, that dies for love.

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,
Sighs that blow the fire of love
Soft repulses, kind disdaining,
Shall be all the pains you prove.
Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty,
Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove;
And as these excel in beauty,
Those shall be renown'd for love.


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Plus belle des îles", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Schönstes Eiland", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Mercedes Vivas) , "La isla más hermosa", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Virginia Knight

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 87

La isla más hermosa
Language: Spanish (Español)  after the English 
La isla más hermosa, la más sobresaliente,
Lugar de placer y de amor
Aquí Venus escogerá su morada
Y abandonará su bosquecillo chipriota.
Cupido eliminará  cuidados y envidias
de su nación favorita;
Celos, que envenenan la pasión,
Y desesperanza, que muere por amor. 

Gentiles murmullos, dulces quejas,
Suspiros que avivan el fuego del amor
Suaves rechazos, amables desdenes,
Serán todos los dolores que experimentaréis.
Todo muchacho debe hacer su ofrenda,
Toda ninfa debe mostrarse agradecida;
Y así como éstas destacan en belleza,
Aquéllos serán célebres por su amor. 


  • Translation from English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2010 by Mercedes Vivas, (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: 2010-03-16
Line count: 16
Word count: 88