by Joachim du Bellay (1525 - c1560)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Rendez à l'or cete couleur, qui dore
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Rendez à l'or cete couleur, qui dore
Ces blonds cheveux, rendez mil' autres choses:
A l'orient tant de perles encloses,
Et au Soleil ces beaux yeulx, que j'adore.

Rendez ces mains au blanc yvoire encore,
Ce seing au marbre, et ces levres aux roses,
Ces doulx soupirs aux fleurettes decloses,
Et ce beau teint à la vermeille Aurore.

Rendez aussi à l'Amour tous ses traictz,
Et à Venus ses graces, et attraictz:
Rendez aux cieulx leur celeste harmonie.

Rendez encor' ce doulx nom à son arbre,
Ou aux rochers rendez ce coeur de marbre,
Et aux lions cet' humble felonnie.

About the headline (FAQ)


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: "To Venus", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-10-28
Line count: 14
Word count: 100

To Venus
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Change to gold that colour which gilds
Her blonde hair, and change a thousand other things:
Those many pearls hidden awat, to the east,
And to the sun those lovely eyes which I adore.

Change those hands to white ivory again,
That breast to marble, and those lips to roses;
Those sweet sighs to blooming flowers
And that fair hue to Dawn's redness.

And return to Love all her features,
And to Venus her grace and her charms;
Return to the heavens their celestial harmony.

Return too that sweet name [Olive]1 to its tree,
Or turn to stone this heart of marble
And give this humble treason to the lions.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 this sonnet comes from Du Bellay's "L'Olive", a book of love sonnets to Olive


  • 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: 2012-07-25
Line count: 14
Word count: 110