by Paul Collin (1845 - 1915)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Si j'étais rayon, j'irais, jeune fille
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Si j'étais rayon, j'irais, jeune fille,
Si j'étais rayon splendide et joyeux,
Verser tout l'éclat de mon feu qui brille
Dans tes jolis yeux.

Si j'étais zéphir, j'irais dans les tresses,
Dans les tresses d'or de tes cheveux doux,
Je leur donnerais de folles caresses,
Malgré les jaloux!

Si j'étais parfum, malgré toi, farouche,
Si j'étais parfum, j'irais déposer
Au plus gentil coin de ta chère bouche
L'enivrant baiser!

Si j'étais murmure, au ciel ou sur terre,
J'irais sans répit, trève ni repos,
Te dire à l'oreille, avec grand mystère,
De tendres propos.

Si j'étais Amour, j'irais dans ton âme,
Si j'étais Amour, j'irais dans ton coeur,
Épeler, le soir, les lettres de flamme
De mon nom vainqueur!

M. de Rothschild sets stanzas 1-2, 5

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 (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "If I were a sunbeam", copyright © 2012

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 118

If I were a sunbeam
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
If I were a sunbeam, I would go, young girl,
If I were a sunbeam, splendid and joyous,
I would pour all the fire of my brilliance
Into your lovely eyes.

If I were a breeze, I would go into your braids,
Into the golden braids of your soft hair,
I would give them frantic caresses,
To spite those jealous people!

If I were a perfume, against your wishes, fierce one,
If I were a perfume, I would deposit
In the sweetest corner of your dear mouth
The intoxicating kiss!

If I were a whisper, in the sky or on land,
I would without respite, break, or rest,
Speak into your ear, with great mystery,
Tender words.

If I were Love, I would go into your soul,
If I were Love, I would go into your heart,
To spell out in the evening the flaming letters
Of my victorious name!


  • 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: 2012-12-02
Line count: 20
Word count: 150