by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Enfant, si j'étais roi, je donnerais...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): CHI ENG SPA
[Enfant,]1 si j'étais roi, je donnerais l'empire,
Et mon char, et mon sceptre, et mon peuple à genoux,
Et ma couronne d'or, et mes bains de porphyre,
Et mes flottes, à qui la mer ne peut suffire,
Pour un regard de vous!

Si j'étais Dieu, la terre et l'air avec les ondes,
Les anges, les démons courbés devant ma loi,
Et le profond chaos aux entrailles fécondes,
L'éternité, l'espace et les cieux et les mondes,
Pour un baiser de toi!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Goldschmidt's setting begins "Si j'étais roi"; further changes may exist not noted above.
Note: the poem is headed with the following quote:
    C'est une âme charmante. 
                --DIDEROT.

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Yen-Chiang Che) , "孩子,如果我是國王", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , "Child, if I were king, I would give the empire", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "My child, were I a king"
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alberto Bonati) , "Niña, si yo fuera rey, daría el imperio", copyright © 2007, (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: 10
Word count: 80

Child, if I were king, I would give the empire
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Child, if I were king I would give the empire,
and my chariot, and my scepter, and my kneeling people,
and my golden crown, and my porphyry baths,
and my fleets that the sea could not hold,
for one of your glances! 

If I were God, earth and heaven with the waves,
the angels, the demons bent before my law,
and the chaos of the fertile deep,
eternity, space, the heavens and the worlds
for a kiss from you!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2002 by Faith J. Cormier, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 79