by Fernand Gregh (1873 - 1960)
Translation © by Adam Ewing

La tristesse des menuets
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
La tristesse des menuets
Fait chanter mes désirs muets
  Et je pleure,
D'entendre frémir cette voix
Qui vient de si loin, d'autrefois,
  Et qui pleure.

Chansons frêles du clavecin,
Notes grêles, fuyant essaim
  Qui s'efface,
Vous êtes un pastel d'antan
Qui s'anime, rit un instant,
  [Et s'efface]1.

Ô chants troublés de pleurs secrets,
Chagrins [qui s'ignorent]2, les vrais,
  Pudeur tendre,
Sanglots que l'on cache, au départ
Et qui n'osent s'avouer, par
  Orgueil tendre.

Ah ! comme vous broyez les cœrs
De vos airs charmants et moqueurs
  Et si tristes !
Menuets à peine entendus,
Sanglots légers, rires fondus,
  Baisers tristes !

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Koechlin: "Puis, s'efface"
2 Koechlin: "qu'on ignore"


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 (Adam Ewing) , "Minuet", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Adam Ewing

This text was added to the website: 2012-04-02
Line count: 24
Word count: 101

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The sadness of minuets
Makes my mute desires sing,
And I cry
To hear this voice tremble
Which comes from so far, from long ago,
And which cries.

Frail songs of the harpsichord,
Thin notes, fleeing swarm
Which dissolves,
You are a pastel of yesteryear
That comes to life, laughs a moment,
Then dissolves!

Oh troubled songs of secret tears,
Sorrows that one knows not, truths,
	Tender reserve,
Sobs that one hides at the start
And which dare not confess themselves, by
Tender pride,

Ah! how you crush hearts
With your airs charming and mocking
And so sad,
Minuets barely heard,
Weak sobs, melted laughter,
Sad kisses...


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Adam Ewing, (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: 2012-04-02
Line count: 24
Word count: 107