Benjamin Godard J’hai perdu ma tourterelle / I’ve lost my turtledove

In Classics, Songs, Songs in French by Vogler & Lindqvist1 Comment

J’hai perdu ma tourterelle, Villanelle by Jean Passerat (1574)

I’ay perdu ma Tourterelle:
Eft-ce point celle que i’oy?
Ie veus aller aprés elle.
Tu regretes ta femelle,
Helas! außi fai-ie moy,
I’ay perdu ma Tourterelle.
Si ton Amour eft fidelle,
Außi est ferme ma foy,
Ie veus aller aprés elle.
Ta plainte fe renouuelle;
Toufiours plaindre ie me doy:
I’ay perdu ma Tourterelle.
En ne voyant plus la belle
Plus rien de beau ie ne voy:
Ie veus aller aprés elle.
Mort, que tant de fois i’appelle,
Pren ce qui fe donne à toy:
I’ay perdu ma Tourterelle,
Ie veus aller aprés elle.

I have lost my turtledove   translation by Amanda French

…in her great dissertation “Refrain, Again: The Return of the Villanelle”, found on

I have lost my turtledove:
Isn’t that her gentle coo?
I will go and find my love.
Here you mourn your mated love;
Oh, God–I am mourning too:
I have lost my turtledove.
If you trust your faithful dove,
Trust my faith is just as true;
I will go and find my love.
Plaintively you speak your love;
All my speech is turned into
“I have lost my turtledove.”
Such a beauty was my dove,
Other beauties will not do;
I will go and find my love.
Death, again entreated of,
Take one who is offered you:
I have lost my turtledove;
I will go and find my love.

Learn about Benjamin Godard here.

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