by John Dryden (1631 - 1700)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

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

Schönstes Eiland
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Schönstes Eiland, hoch gepriesen,
aller Lust und Liebe Hort,
Venus selbst wird dich erkiesen,
zieht von Zyperns Hainen fort.
Cupido wird dich entheben
aller Sorge, allem Neid,
allen Argwohns bösem Streben,
hoffnungslosem Liebesleid.

Sanftes Säuseln, süßes Klagen,
Seufzer ob der Liebe Glut,
sachtes Wehren, willig' Zagen
sei allein euer Tribut.
Seinen Mann soll jeder stehen,
jede Nymphe dankbar sein,
sie in Schönheit sich ergehen,
er berühmt für Liebe sein.


  • Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2011 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2011-01-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 69