by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation © by David Wyatt

Se la face ay pale
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
 Se la face ay pale,
 La cause est amer,
 C'est la principale,
 Et tant m'est amer
 Amer, qu'en la mer
 Me voudroye voir;
 Or, scet bien de voir
 La belle a qui suis
 Que nul bien avoir
   Sans elle ne puis.

 Se ay pesante malle
 De dueil a porter,
 Ceste amour est male
 Pour moy de porter;
 Car soy deporter
 Ne veult devouloir,
 Fors qu'a son vouloir
 Obeisse, et puis
 Qu'elle a tel pooir,
   Sans elle ne puis.

 C'est la plus reale
 Qu'on puist regarder,
 De s'amour leiale
 Ne me puis guarder,
 Fol sui de agarder
 Ne faire devoir
 D'amour recevoir
 Fors d'elle, je cuis;
 Se ne veil douloir,
   Sans elle ne puis.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , title 1: "If my face is pale", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Alberto Pedrotti

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 33
Word count: 116

If my face is pale
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 If my face is pale
 The cause is love
 That's the main reason
 And it is so bitter
 To love that in the sea
 I'd like to leap;
 Indeed, she is well able to see,
 That fair lady whose I am,
 That I have no good thing as
    I cannot exist without her.

 If I have a heavy load
 Of care to carry
 This love is bad
 For me to carry.
 For that I should enjoy myself
 She does not want to allow
 Except in obeying her wishes,
 And since 
 She has such power for
    I cannot exist without her.

 She's the most regal person
 That you could ever see,
 Loyal love for her
 I can't help having,
 Foolish I am to look at her
 And make no effort
 To receive love in return.
 Apart from her, I burn
 If I do not want to be sad
    I cannot exist without her.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by David Wyatt, (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: 2012-05-22
Line count: 33
Word count: 155