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

Dear Harp of my Country!
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long;
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee
And gave all thy chords to light, freedom and song!
The warm lay of love and the light [note]1 of gladness
Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill;
But so oft hast thou echo'd the deep sigh of sadness,
That e'en in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.

Dear Harp of my Country! [farewell]2 to thy numbers
This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine[!]3
Go, sleep with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers,
Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine[;]4
If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,
Have throbb'd at our lay 'tis thy glory alone;
I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own!

View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with Thomas Moore, A New Edition from the last London Edition, Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: Lee, Shepard, & Dillingham, 1876.

1 Britten : “tone”
2 Britten : “Farewell”
3 Britten : “,”
4 Britten : “,”


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: "Chère Harpe de mon Pays", 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 10:01:54
Line count: 16
Word count: 155

Chère Harpe de mon Pays
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Chère Harpe de mon Pays ! je t'ai trouvée dans le noir,
La froide chaîne du silence avait pendu longtemps au-dessus de toi ;
Quand avec fierté, Harpe de ma propre île, je t'ai détachée
Et donné à toutes tes cordes lumière, liberté et chant !
Le lai ardent de l'amour et les [notes]1 légères de la joie
Ont réveillé tes frissons les plus tendres, les plus entraînants ;
Mais tu t'es si souvent fait l'écho de profonds soupirs de tristesse
Que le silence se glisse furtivement jusque dans tes rires.

Chère Harpe de mon Pays ! adieu à tes couplets
Cette douce couronne de chansons est la dernière que nous tresserons[ !]2
Va, dors avec le soleil de la Célébrité brillant sur ton sommeil,
Jusqu'à ce qu'une main moins indigne que la mienne te touche[ ;]3
Si le pouls du patriote, du soldat ou de l'amant
A palpité à ta chanson, la gloire en fut à toi seule ;
Je ne fus rien d'autre que le vent, passant sans souci,
Et toute la sauvage douceur que j'ai éveillée venait de toi !

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten : “accords”
2 Britten : “,”
3 Britten : “,”


  • 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: 2014-04-18 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:32
Line count: 16
Word count: 183