Translation © by Emily Ezust

Le rossignol
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Dans un buisson de roses
Mon nid fut bien caché ;
Mais, sous les fleurs écloses,
Amour m'a déniché.

Il courut au bocage,
Léger et triomphant.
J'eus pour première cage
Les doigts du bel enfant.

J'ai reçu la becquée
Sur le bout de son dard ;
Ma langue y fut piquée
Par le dieu babillard.

Aussi ma voix subtile,
En tout cœur, dès ce jour,
S'insinue et distille
Un doux venin d'amour,

Et ma gorge en délire,
Dans ses brillants fredons,
De l'amoureuse lyre
Sait prendre tous les tons.

Je veux chanter encore
Ma joie et mes ennuis ;
Je chante avec l'aurore,
Je chante avec les nuits.

Je défie et méprise
Fauvettes et pinsons,
Et la mort seule épuise
Mon cœur et mes chansons.

J'aime une fleur nouvelle,
La rose qui m'entend ;
J'aime, et je veux, près d'elle,
Expirer en chantant.

M. de Rothschild sets stanzas 6, 7, 1, 8


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 (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "The nightingale", copyright © 2012

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2012-11-28
Line count: 32
Word count: 143

The nightingale
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
In a rosebush
my nest was well-hidden;
but beneath the blossoming flowers
Love discovered me.

He ran into the grove,
Light and triumphant.
For my first cage I had [only]
the fingers of this beautiful child.

I received a beakful
from the end of his arrow ;
my tongue was pricked there
by the babbler-god.

And so my subtle voice,
with all my heart, from this day forward,
creeps and distills
a soft venom of love,

and my throat in a frenzy
in its brilliant trills,
knows [now] how to make all the notes
of the lyre of Love.

I want to sing again
My joy and my problems;
I sing with the dawn,
I sing with the night.

I defy and despise
warblers and finches;
and only death can extinguish
my heart and my songs.

I love a new flower,
the rose that listens to me;
I love it and, close to it, I want
to die while singing.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2012-11-29
Line count: 32
Word count: 160