"Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux!" Lyrics and Text Translation

Chimene's Aria from Massenet's Opera, Le Cid

Burgos, Spain, once the capital of the country, is the city in which Jules Massenet's opera, Le Cid, takes place.
Burgos, Spain, once the capital of the country, is the city in which Jules Massenet's opera, Le Cid, takes place. Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

"Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux!" is sung by Chimene in the third act of Jules Massenet's opera, Le Cid (read the Le Cid synopsis).  Chimene suffers from a broken heart because the man with whom she is in love, Rodrigue, mistakenly killed her father during a duel.  (Prior to his death, Chimene's father insulted Rodrigue's father then challenged him to a duel.  Since Rodrigue's father was too old and weak to fight, Rodrigue fought on his behalf without asking who he was going up against.) Throughout the opera, Chimene swears to avenge her father's death, but her love of Rodrigue makes it hard for her to follow through.

 After careful consideration, Chimene realizes that no matter which choice she makes, both will end in heartache. 

Recommended Listening

  • Maria Callas exquisitely performed "Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux!" with the Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Runfunks in 1962.  (Watch on YouTube)
  • Marie-Laure Garnier's beautiful voice and clear diction makes this an excellent recording to add to your classical music video collection. (Watch on YouTube)
  • Angela Gheorghiu, best known for her Puccini roles, sang this aria in Madrid, Spain in 2007. (Watch on YouTube)
  • Montserrat Caballé, another world renowned soprano, performed "Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux!" in Verona, Italy, in 1988. (Watch on YouTube)
  • Last but not least is Dame Joan Sutherland, who became the first Australian to ever win a Grammy Music Award (1962).  Her performance of this aria is nothing short of incredible.

French Lyrics

De cet affreux combat je sors l'âme brisée!


Mais enfin je suis libre et je pourrai du moins
Soupirer sans contrainte et souffrir sans témoins.
Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux! tombez triste rosée
Qu'un rayon de soleil ne doit jamais tarir!
S'il me reste un espoir, c'est de bientôt mourir!
Pleurez mes yeux, pleurez toutes vox larmes! pleurez mes yeux!
Mais qui donc a voulu l'éternité des pleurs?


O chers ensevelis, trouvez-vous tant de charmes à léguer aux vivants d'implacables douleurs?
Hélas! je me souviens, il me disait:
Avec ton doux sourire...
Tu ne saurais jamais conduire
Qu'aux chemins glorieux ou qu'aux sentiers bénis!
Ah! mon père! Hélas!
Pleurez! pleurez mes yeux!
Tombez triste rosée
Qu'un rayon de soleil ne doit jamais tarir!
Pleurez mes yeux!
Ah! pleurez toutes vos larmes! pleurez mes yeux!
Ah! pleurez!

English Translation

I go to this terrible battle with a broken soul!
But finally I'm free and I can at least
Sigh unconstrained and suffer without witnesses.
I Weep! I cry my eyes! Sad dew falls
A sunbeam should never dry up!
If I have a hope, it's about to die!
I cry my eyes and cry tears! Cry my eyes
But who wants to spend an eternity crying?
O dear buried father, do you find so many charms to bequeath to live in unrelenting pain?
Alas! I remember what he told me
With his sweet smile ...
You never know how to lead
As glorious or as blessed in these trails and paths!
Ah! My father! Alas
Weep! I cry my eyes
Sad dew falls
A sunbeam should never dry up!
Cry my eyes
Ah! Cry all your tears! Cry my eyes
Ah! weep

More Aria Translation