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Au soleil couchant

Language: French (Français)

Au soleil couchant,
Toi qui vas cherchant
Prends garde de choir;
La terre, le soir,
Est brune.
L'océan trompeur
Couvre de vapeur
La dune.
Vois, à l'horizon,
Aucune maison 

Maint voleur te suit,
La chose est, la nuit,
Les dames des bois
Nous gardent parfois
Elles vont errer:
Crains d'en rencontrer
Les lutins de l'air
Vont danser au clair
De lune.

Translation(s): ENG GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

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 (Peter Low) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-03-01 11:54:59

Line count: 24
Word count: 66

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At sunset

Language: English after the French (Français)

At sunset, 
you who are seeking 
your fortune, 
watch out you don't stumble;
the earth is brown 
in the evening.
The deceptive ocean 
covers the dunes 
with spray.
Look, on the horizon, 
no houses, 
not one!

Thieves are following you – 
That is common 
at night.
The ladies of the woods 
sometimes have grudges 
against us.
They will be roaming: 
be afraid that you might 
meet one.
The goblins of the air 
will be dancing 
in the moonlight.

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translator's note: This menacing text originated as a theatre song in Hugo’s play Cromwell, where it is sung by one of the fools of the court.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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 Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885), "La chanson du fou", appears in Odes et Ballades, in Ballades - 1823-1828, no. 10a GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Georges Bizet, Cécile Chaminade, Paul-Charles-Marie Curet, as Paul Puget, Marcel Delannoy, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Hippolyte Monpou, Alexis Jean Hubert Rostand, Eugène Wintzweiller. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-06-02 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2017-06-02 16:02:54

Line count: 24
Word count: 78