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Elle me dit: "Quelque chose "Me tourmente." Et j'aperçus Son cou de neige, et, dessus, Un petit insecte rose. J'aurais dû, - mais, sage ou fou, A seize ans, on est farouche, - Voir le baiser sur sa bouche Plus que l'insecte à son cou. On eût dit un coquillage; Dos rose et taché de noir. Les fauvettes pour nous voir Se penchaient dans le feuillage. Sa bouche fraîche était là; [Je me courbai]1 sur la belle, Et je pris la coccinelle; Mais le baiser s'envola. "Fils, apprends comme on me nomme," Dit l'insecte du ciel bleu, "Les bêtes sont au bon Dieu; "Mais la bêtise est à l'homme."
1 Bizet: "Hélas! Je me penchai"
- by Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885), "La coccinelle", written 1830, appears in Les Contemplations, in 1. Livre premier -- Aurore, no. 15, first published 1854 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Georges Bizet (1838 - 1875), "La coccinelle", op. 21 no. 16 (1868), published 1873 [ medium voice and piano ], from Vingt mélodies pour chant et piano, no. 16, Paris, Éd. Choudens [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Alain Lecompte (b. 1954), "La coccinelle", 2001 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Pierre-Jacob Robert-Cantabre , "La coccinelle", published  [ voice and piano ], from Mélodies, I, no. 1, Pau, Éd. Pierre Jacob Cantabre [sung text not yet checked]
- by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921), "La coccinelle", 1868, published 1896 [ high voice and piano ], Éd. Durand [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Hector Salomon (1838 - 1906), "La Coccinelle", published  [ high voice and piano ], from Vingt Mélodies, no. 11, Éd. Brandus & Cie [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- CHI Chinese (中文) (Yen-Chiang Che) , "小瓢蟲", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The ladybug", copyright © 2016
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Marienkäfer", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 109
She told me: "Something Is bothering me." And I noticed Her snow-white neck, and, upon it, A small reddish insect. I should have - but wise or mad, At sixteen, one is timid -- I should have noticed the kiss on her mouth More than the insect on her neck. It looked like a shell, Its back red and spattered with black. To see us better, warblers Stretched out their necks in the branches. Her sweet mouth was there; [I bent]1 over the beautiful girl, And I removed the ladybug, But the kiss flew away! "Son, learn what they call me," The insect said from the blue sky, "Animals belong to the Good Lord, But Idiocy belongs to Man."
1 Bizet: "Alas! I leaned"
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Emily Ezust
Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:
Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/
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- a text in French (Français) by Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885), "La coccinelle", written 1830, appears in Les Contemplations, in 1. Livre premier -- Aurore, no. 15, first published 1854
This text was added to the website: 2016-09-29
Line count: 20
Word count: 118