"Connais-tu le pays" Lyrics and Text Translation

Mignon's Aria from Ambroise Thomas' Opera, Mignon

Poster for the Premiere of the Opera Mignon
Jules Chéret/ Wikimedia Commons

In the first act of Thomas' opera, Mignon, the beautiful Mignon is rescued by Wilhelm and Lothario from the torment and abuse of her Gypsy captor who kidnapped her when she was very young. After splitting a bouquet of flowers between the two men as a token of her gratitude, she speaks with Wilhelm about her past. She tells him about her abduction, then describes her past home with such lovely details in this aria.

(Listen to this YouTube clip as you read the lyrics.)

French Lyrics

Connais-tu le pays où fleurit l'oranger?
Le pays des fruits d'or et des roses vermeilles,
Où la brise est plus douce et l'oiseau plus léger,
Où dans toute saison butinent les abeilles,
Où rayonne et sourit, comme un bienfait de Dieu,
Un éternel printemps sous un ciel toujours bleu!
Hélas! Que ne puis-je te suivre
Vers ce rivage heureux d'où le sort m'exila!
C'est là! c'est là que je voudrais vivre,
Aimer, aimer et mourir!
Connais-tu la maison où l'on m'attend là-bas?
La salle aux lambris d'or, où des hommes de marbre
M'appellent dans la nuit en me tendant les bras?
Et la cour où l'on danse à l'ombre d'un grand arbre?
Et le lac transparent où glissent sur les eaux
Mille bateaux légers pariels à des oiseaux!
Hélas! Que ne puis-je te suivre
Vers ce pays lointain d'où le sort m'exila!
C'est là! c'est là que je voudrais vivre,
Aimer, aimer et mourir!

English Translation

Do you know the country where the orange flowers bloom?
The land of golden fruit and crimson roses,
Where the breeze is fresh and the birds fly in the light,
Where in any season bees are seen foraging,
Where radiant smiles are a blessing from God,
An eternal spring under a deep blue sky!


Alas! Why can I not follow you
To this happy shore, here the fates have exiled me!
There it is! This is where I want to live,
Love, love and die!
Do you know the house is there waiting for me?
The room with gold paneling, where men of marble
Call me at night, holding my arms?
And the courtyard where they dance in the shade of a large tree?
And the transparent lake where on the water slide
thousands of birds like weightless boats!
Alas! Why can I not follow you
To this happy shore, here the fates have exiled me!
There it is! This is where I want to live,
Love, love and die!

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