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

Ma petite colombelle
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ma petite colombelle,
Ma mignonne toute belle,
Mon petit œil, baisez-moi
D'un bouche toute pleine
De baisers chassez la peine
De mon amoureux esmoy.

Quand je vous dirai: Mignonne,
Approchez vous, qu'on me donne
Neuf baisers tout simplement
Lors, ne m'en baillez que trois,

Telz que Diane guerriere
Les donne à Phébus son frère,
Et l'Aurore à son vieillard;
Puis reculez vostre bouche
Et bien loing, toute farouche,
Fuyez d'un pied fretillard.

Comme un taureau par la prée
Court après son amourée,
Ainsi tout plein de courroux
Je courray fol apres vous,

Et, prise d'une main forte,
Vous tiendray de telle sorte
Qu'un aigle l'oiseau tremblant.
Lors, faisant de la modeste,
De me redonner le reste
Des baisers ferez semblant.

Mais en vain serez pendant
Toute à mon col, attendante
(Tenant un peu l'œil baissé)
Pardon de m'avoit laissé :

Car, en lieu de six, adonques
J'en demanderay plus qu'onques
Tout le ciel d'estoiles n'eut,
Plus que d'arene poussée
Aux bords, quand l'eau courroussée
Contre les rives s'esmeut.

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), [adaptation] ; composed by Jacques Leguerney.
  • Also set in French (Français), [adaptation] ; composed by Marc-Antoine Muret.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , "My little turtledove", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: David Wyatt

Text added to the website: 2012-07-25 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-04-23 23:17:13
Line count: 36
Word count: 168

My little turtledove
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
My little turtledove,
My beautiful darling,
Apple of my eye, kiss me
With mouth full
Of kisses, chase away the pain
Of my lover's agitation.

When I say to you, "Darling",
Come to me, give me
Nine kisses quite simply,
Or, grant me but three,

Such as those which warlike Diana
Gives to her brother Phoebus [Apollo],
And as Dawn gives to her ancient husband1;
Then draw back your lips
And far away, like a shy wild creature,
Flee with nervous feet.

As a bull in the meadow
Runs after his beloved,
So will I, full of passion,
Run madly after you,

And caught by my strong hand,
I shall hold you in the same way
That an eagle holds a trembling bird.
Then, acting modestly,
You shall seem to give me back
The remainder of the kisses.

But in vain will you hang
From my neck, waiting -- 
With your gaze slightly lowered -- 
For pardon for having left me :

For instead of six, as many
I shall ask indeed as
All the heavens hold of stars,
More than the [grains of] sand pushed
Onto the shore when the wrathful waters
Riot against the riverbanks.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in classical mythology Dawn weds Tithonus, who is given immortality but not perpetual youth...


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2012-07-25 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-04-23 23:20:26
Line count: 36
Word count: 195