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The end

Language: English

After the blast of lightning from the East,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot Throne;
After the drums of time have rolled and ceased,
And by the bronze west long retreat is blown,

Shall life renew these bodies? Of a truth
All death will He annul, all tears assuage? -
[Or fill these void veins full again with youth]1,
And wash, with an immortal water, Age?

When I do ask white Age he saith not so:
"My head hangs weighed with snow."
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
"My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shalls not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the sea, be dried."

Translation(s): CAT FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

First published in the Saturday Westminster Gazette, 1919.

1 Britten: "Fill the void veins of Life again with youth"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La fin", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-01-08.
Last modified: 2015-03-21 16:50:23
Line count: 14
Word count: 115

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La fin

Language: French (Français) after the English

Après la détonation d'un éclair à l'est,
Le fleurissement de nuages sonores, le Chariot Céleste ;
Après que  les tambours du temps eurent roulé et cessé,
Et que la longue retraite vers l'ouest fut détruite par le bronze,

La vie renaîtra-t-elle de ces corps ? D'une vérité
Annulera-t-elle toute mort, tarira-t-elle toutes les larmes ?
[Ou ces veines vides]1, les remplira-t-elle à nouveau de jeunesse
Et d'une eau immortelle purifiera-t-elle l'Âge  ?

Lorsque j'interroge l'Âge blanc, il ne dit pas :
« Ma tête penche sous le poids de la neige. »
Et lorsque j'écoute la Terre, elle dit :
« Mon cœur se serre de douleur. Il est mort.
Mes anciennes cicatrices ne doivent pas être glorifiées,
Ni la mer de mes titanesques larmes asséchée. »

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Ces veines vides de Vie"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 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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Based on
  • a text in English by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918), "The end" CAT
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Benjamin Britten, Elaine Hugh-Jones. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-03-21.
Last modified: 2015-03-21 16:51:08
Line count: 14
Word count: 127