by Paul Bourget (1852 - 1935)
Translation © by John Glenn Paton

Voici que le printemps, ce fils léger...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Voici que le printemps, ce fils léger d'Avril,
Beau page en pourpoint vert brodé de roses blanches.
Paraît, leste, fringant, et les poings sur les hanches,
Comme un prince acclamé revient d'un long exil.

Les branches des buissons verdis rendent étroite
La route qu'il poursuit en dansant comme un fol;
Sur son épaule gauche il porte un rossignol,
Un merle s'est posé sur son épaule droite.

Et les fleurs qui dormaient sous les mousses des bois
Ouvrent leurs yeux où flotte une ombre vague et tendre,
Et sur leurs petits pieds se dressent, pour entendre
Les deux oiseaux siffler et chanter à la fois.

Car le merle sifflote et le rossignol chante :
Le merle siffle ceux qui ne sont pas aimés,
Et pour les amoureux languissants et charmés,
Le rossignol prolonge une chanson touchante.

About the headline (FAQ)


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):

  • ENG English [singable] (M. Louise Baum) , "Comes the spring"
  • ENG English (John Glenn Paton) , copyright © 2010, (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: 16
Word count: 135

Behold, how Spring, the nimble son of...
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Behold, how Spring, the nimble son of April,
handsome page in a green vest embroidered with white roses,
appears light, dashing, with hands on hips,
like an acclaimed prince returned from long exile.
The branches of green bushes make narrow
the road that he follows, dancing like a clown;
on his left shoulder is a nightingale,
and a blackbird on his right.
And flowers that slept under the forest moss
open their vaguely, tenderly shadowed eyes,
and they stand on their little feet to hear
the two birds whistle and sing at once
because the blackbird pipes and the nightingale sings:
the blackbird whistles at those who are not lovers,
and for the lovers, languishing and enchanted,
the nightingale draws out a touching song.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Voici que le printemps" = "Behold how Spring"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2010 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-09-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 124