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Le sylphe

Language: French (Français)

Je suis un sylphe, une ombre, un rien, un rêve,
Hôte de l'air, esprit mystérieux,
Léger parfum, que le zéphir enlève,
Anneau vivant, qui joint l'homme et les dieux.

De mon corps pur les rayons diaphanes
Flottent mêlés à la vapeur du soir ;
Mais je me cache aux regards des profanes,
Et l'âme seule en songe peut me voir.

Rasant du lac la nappe étincelante
D'un vol léger j'effleure les roseaux ;
Et, balancé sur mon aile brillante,
J'aime à me voir dans le cristal des eaux.

Dans vos jardins quelque fois je voltige ;
Et, m'enivrant de suaves odeurs,
Sans que mon pied fasse incliner leur tige,
Je me suspends au calice des fleurs.

Dans vos foyers j'entre avec confiance,
Et, récréant son œil clos à demi,
J'aime à verser des songes d'innocence
Sur le front pur d'un enfant endormi.

Lorsque sur vous la nuit jette son voile
Je glisse aux cieux comme un long filet d'or,
Et les mortels disent : « C'est une étoile
Qui d'un ami vous présage la mort. »

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

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)

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The sylph", copyright © 2019

Text added to the website: 2008-10-20 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-07-04 22:37:40

Line count: 24
Word count: 176

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     - Emily Ezust

The sylph

Language: English after the French (Français)

I am a sylph, a shade, a nothing, a dream,
Denizen of the air, mysterious spirit, 
Light scent that the breeze carries away, 
Living circle that joins mankind and the gods. 

The diaphanous rays of my pure body 
flutter, mixed with the mist of the evening; 
But I hide from the gazes of the profane, 
and a soul can only see me when dreaming.

Skimming over the shining surface of the lake 
in my subtle flight I brush the reeds; 
And, swinging on my brilliant wing, 
I love to see myself in the crystal of the waters.

In your gardens I sometimes I flutter about; 
and, becoming intoxicated with the smooth scents, 
Without my foot making their stems bend, 
I hover over the chalice of the flowers.

Into your foyers I enter confidently, 
and, recreating his half-shut eyes, 
I love to pour dreams of innocence 
onto the pure brow of a sleeping child.

When night throws her veil over you
I glide across the skies like a long net of gold, 
And mortals say, “It is a star 
that presages the death of a friend.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


Text added to the website: 2019-07-05 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-07-05 19:40:54

Line count: 24
Word count: 185