by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Je veux mourir pour tes beautés,...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Je veux mourir pour tes beautés, Maîtresse,
Pour ce bel oeil, qui me prit à son hain,
Pour ce doux ris, pour ce baiser tout plein
D'ambre et de musc, baiser d'une Déesse.

Je veux mourir pour cette blonde tresse,
[Pour l'embonpoint de ce trop chaste sein]1,
Pour la rigueur de cette douce main,
Qui tout d'un coup me guérit et me blesse.

Je veux mourir pour le brun de ce teint,
[Pour cette voix, dont le beau chant m'étreint
Si fort le cœur que seul il en dispose.]2

Je veux mourir ès amoureux combats,
Soûlant l'amour, qu'au [sang]3 je porte enclose,
Toute une nuit au milieu de tes, bras.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bertrand: "Pour le mignard embonpoinct de ce sein"
2 Bertrand, Utendal: "Pour ce maintien qui, divin, me contraint/ De trop aymer : mais par sus toute chose."
3 Bertrand, Utendal: "cœur"


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 (David Wyatt) , "I wish I could die for your beauty", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: David Wyatt

This text was added to the website: 2010-03-23
Line count: 14
Word count: 110

I wish I could die for your beauty
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I wish I could die for your beauty, Mistress,
For this lovely eye which has chosen to hate me
For this sweet smile, for your kiss full
Of ambrosia and musk, the kiss of a goddess.

I wish I could die for this blonde hair,
[For the swell  of your most chaste breast]1
For the strictness of this sweet hand
Which can suddenly cure me or harm me.

I wish I could die for your tanned skin
[For this voice whose lovely song embraces
My heart so strongly that it alone has power over it.]2

I wish I could die in the battle of love
Drunk on love, which I carry [in my very blood]3
For a whole night in the embrace of your arms4.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bertrand: "For the charming swell of that breast,"
2 Bertrand, Utendal: "for that bearing which, godlike, keeps me / From loving too much; but not [from loving] beyond all other things."
3 Bertrand, Utendal: "shut up in my heart,"
4 Translator's note: suddenly Ronsard shifts the whole meaning of his poem in this last line, from the unworldy lover wishing to die, to the very worldly lover eager for the "little death" of sex.


  • 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: 2012-06-06
Line count: 14
Word count: 125