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Je mettrai mes deux mains sur ma bouche,...

Language: French (Français)

Je mettrai mes deux mains sur ma bouche, pour taire
Ce que je voudrais tant vous dire, âme bien chère!

Je mettrai mes deux mains sur mes yeux, pour cacher
Ce que je voudrais tant que pourtant vous cherchiez.

Je mettrai mes deux mains sur mon coeur, chère vie,
Pour que vous ignoriez de quel coeur je vous prie!

Et puis je les mettrai doucement dans vos mains,
Ces deux mains-ci qui meurent d'un fatigant chagrin!...

Elles iront à vous pleines de leur faiblesse,
Toutes silencieuses et même sans caresse,

Lasses d'avoir porté tout le poids d'un secret
Dont ma bouche et mes yeux et mon front parleraient.

Translation(s): ENG

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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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , title 1: "Silent offering", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2017-03-10 20:00:16
Line count: 12
Word count: 108

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Silent offering

Language: English after the French (Français)

I will place my hands on my mouth, oh my dear,
to not say what I hope you will hear.
I will place my hands on my eyes not to show
the truth I so much want you to know.

I will place my hands on my heart, concealing
how quickly it beats, with what feeling!
Then in your hands I will gently place mine,
these two weary hands that weaken and pine.

Then you will feel them silent and unmoving,
pale and so in need of holding and loving,
tired of bearing the secret's heavy load
that my mouth, eyes and heart have not disclosed.

Yes, you will feel them gentle, shy and still and wan,
weighed down with sadness, yet strangely empty and light,
so deeply discouraged, so woe-begone
that perhaps you (ah!) at last will clasp them tight.

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.


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2015 by Peter Low, (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 French (Français) by Marie Closset (1875 - 1952), as Jean Dominique, no title, written 1904, appears in L'anémone des mers, Paris, Éd. du Mercure de France, first published 1906
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gabriel Fauré. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-10-26.
Last modified: 2015-10-26 11:01:20
Line count: 16
Word count: 141