by Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

Avenging and bright
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin
On him who the brave sons of Usna betrayed! --
For [every fond eye he hath]1 waken'd a tear in,
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o'er her blade.

By the red cloud which hung over [Conor's]2 dark dwelling,
When Ulad's three champions lay sleeping in gore --
By the billows of war, which so often, high swelling,
Have wafted these heroes to victory's shore --

We swear to avenge them! -- no joy shall be tasted,
The harp shall be silent, the maiden unwed,
Our halls shall be mute, and our fields shall lie wasted,
Till vengeance be wreak'd on the murderer's head.

Yes, monarch! though sweet are our home recollections,
Though sweet are [the]3 tears that from tenderness fall;
Though sweet are our friendships, our [hopes, our]4 affections,
Revenge on a tyrant is sweetest of all!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "ev'ry fond eye which he"
2 Britten: "Conner's"
3 Britten: "our"
4 Britten: "hopes and"


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Vengeresse et claire", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:53
Line count: 16
Word count: 144

Vengeresse et claire
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Que vengeresse et claire tombe vivement l'épée d'Erin
Sur celui qui a trahi les braves fils d'Usna !
Pour chaque tendre regard où il a fait naître une larme,
Coulera de sa lame une goutte des blessures de son cœur.

Par le nuage rouge qui plane au-dessus du sombre repaire de [Conor]1,
Tandis que les trois champions de Ulad gisent dormant dans leur sang,
Par les vagues de la guerre, qui si souvent dans leur grand déferlement
Ont jeté ces héros sur les plages de la victoire,

Nous jurons de les venger ! On ne goûtera aucune joie,
La harpe restera silencieuse, les femmes célibataires,
Nos salles seront muettes, et nos champs resterons désolés,
Jusqu'à ce que la vengeance s'abatte sur la tête du meurtrier.

Oui, monarque ! Si doux que soit le souvenir de notre foyer,
Si douces que soient [les]2 larmes que verse la tendresse,
Si douces que soient nos amitiés, nos [espérances,]3 nos affections,
La revanche sur un tyran est la plus douce de tout !

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Conner"
2 Britten: "nos"
3 Britten: "espérances et"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-04-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:32
Line count: 16
Word count: 169