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 : “,”

Authorship

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 : “,”

Authorship

  • 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.
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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