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The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive

Le Loup et l'Agneau

Language: French

La raison du plus fort . . . est toujours la meilleure:
Nous l'allons montrer tout à l'heure.
Un agneau se désaltérait
Dans le courant d'une onde pure.
Un loup survient à jeun, qui cherchait aventure,
Et que la faim en ces lieux attirait.
Qui te rend si hardi de troubler mon breuvage?
Dit cet animal plein de rage:
Tu seras châtié de ta témérité.
Sire, répond l'agneau, que votre Majesté
Ne se mette pas en colère:
Mais plutôt qu'elle considère
Que je me vas désaltérant
Dans le courant, 
Plus de vingt pas au dessous d'elle;
Et que, par conséquent, en aucune façon,
Je ne puis troubler sa boisson.
Tu la troubles! Reprit cette bête cruelle;
Et je sais que de moi tu médis l'an passé.
Comment l'aurais-je fait si je n'étais pas né?
Reprit l'agneau; je tette encor ma mère.
- Si ce n'est toi, c'est donc ton frère.
- Je n'en ai point.
- C'est donc quelqu'un des tiens;
Car vous ne m'épargnez guère,
Vous, vos bergers, et vos chiens.
On me l'a dit: il faut que je me venge.
Là-dessus, au fond des forêts
Le loup l'emporte, et puis le mange
Sans autre forme de procès.

Translation(s): ENG

Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting


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 Jonathan Justman) , "The Wolf and the Lamb", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

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The Wolf and the Lamb

Language: English

 The right of the stronger... is always better:
 We will prove it right now.
 A lamb was quenching its thirst
 In the current of a pure flow.
 A wolf looking for adventure, and whom hunger has attracted to these parts,
 Suddenly appears on an empty stomach.
 "Who is so hardy as to muddy my waters?"
 Says this animal full of rage.
 You will be punished for your temerity.
 "Sire," the lamb responds, "May Your Majesty
  not get angry:
 But may he instead consider
 That I am quenching my thirst 
 in the current,
 More than twenty paces above him;
 And that, therefore, 
 in no way can I muddy his drink."
 "You are muddying it!"  that cruel beast continued;
 "And I know that you spoke ill of me last year."
 "How could I have done so if I wasn't born yet?"
 Continued the lamb;  I am still nursing."
 "If it wasn't you, then it was your brother."
 "I haven't any brother."
 "Then it's one of yours;
 For you hardly spare me,
 You, your shepherds, and your dogs.
 Others have been telling me that I must avenge myself."
 Up there, in the heart of the forest
 The wolf drags him off and then eats him,
 With no other form of process.

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Based on

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.