Skip to main content

Songs

Songs

Le rat de ville et le rat de champs (1842)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Six Fables de La Fontaine


Le rat de ville et le rat de champs

Autrefois le Rat de ville
Invita le Rat des champs,
D'une façon fort civile,
A des reliefs d'Ortolans.
Sur un Tapis de Turquie
Le couvert se trouva mis.
Je laisse à penser la vie
Que firent ces deux amis.
Le régal fut fort honnête,
Rien ne manquait au festin;
Mais quelqu'un troubla la fête
Pendant qu'ils étaient en train.
A la porte de la salle
Ils entendirent du bruit:
Le Rat de ville détale;
Son camarade le suit.
Le bruit cesse, on se retire:
Rats en campagne aussitôt;
Et le citadin de dire:
Achevons tout notre rôt.
- C'est assez, dit le rustique;
Demain vous viendrez chez moi:
Ce n'est pas que je me pique
De tous vos festins de Roi;
Mais rien ne vient m'interrompre:
Je mange tout à loisir.
Adieu donc ; fi du plaisir
Que la crainte peut corrompre.

The town rat and the country rat

The town rat one day
Invited the country rat,
In a most civil manner,
To dine on scraps of ortolan.
The table was set
On a Turkish carpet.
I leave you to imagine
The merry life these two friends led.
The repast was most genteel,
The banquet lacked nothing;
But someone disturbed the feast
While they were tucking in.
At the dining-room door
They heard a racket:
The town rat decamps,
Followed by his friend.
The noise ceases, they retire:
As rats in the country do;
And the town rat said:
‘Let us finish our roast.’
‘I’ve had enough,’ the rustic said;
‘Tomorrow you will dine with me:
It’s not that I baulk
At all your regal banquets;
But with me there are no interruptions:
I eat wholly at my leisure.
Farewell then; I care not a fig for pleasure,
When it’s spoiled by fear.’
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Composer

Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a German-French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his operettas and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.


See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

Find out More

Mailing List