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The LiederNet Archive

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Au bord de l'eau

Language: French (Français)

S'asseoir tous deux au bord [d'un]1 flot qui passe,
  Le voir passer ;
Tous deux, s'il glisse un nuage en l'espace,
  Le voir glisser ;
À l'horizon, s'il fume un toit de chaume,
  Le voir fumer ;
Aux alentours si quelque fleur embaume,
  S'en embaumer ;
[Si quelque fruit, où les abeilles goûtent,
  Tente, y goûter ;
Si quelque oiseau, dans les bois qui l'écoutent,
  Chante, écouter...]2
Entendre au pied du saule où l'eau murmure
  L'eau murmurer ;
Ne pas sentir, tant que ce rêve dure,
  Le temps durer ;
Mais n'apportant de passion profonde
  Qu'à s'adorer,
Sans [nul]3 souci des querelles du monde,
  Les ignorer ;
Et seuls, [heureux]4 devant tout ce qui [lasse]5,
  Sans se lasser,
Sentir l'amour, devant tout ce qui passe,
  Ne point passer!

Translation(s): ENG GER ITA SPA

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "du"
2 omitted by Fauré and Viardot.
3 Viardot: "un"
4 Fauré: "tous deux"
5 Viardot: "passe"

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) , "At the water's edge", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , "Am Ufer", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Enrico Magnani) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Mercedes Vivas) , "Al borde del agua", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-01-27 11:32:59

Line count: 24
Word count: 128

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At the water's edge

Language: English after the French (Français)

 To sit together beside the passing stream
         and watch it pass;
 if a cloud glides by in the sky,
         together to watch it glide;
 if a thatched house sends up smoke on the horizon,
         to watch it smoke;
 if a flower spreads fragrance nearby,
         to take on its fragrance; 

 under the willow where the water murmurs,
         to listen to it murmuring;
 for the time that this dream endures,
         not to feel its duration;
 but, having no deep passion
         except adoration for one another,
 without concern for the world's quarrels,
         to ignore them;
 and alone together, in the face of all wearying things,
 to feel love (unlike all things that pass away)
         not passing away!

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 © 2000 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 René-François Sully-Prudhomme (1839 - 1907), "Au bord de l'eau", written c1872, appears in Les vaines tendresses, no. 4, Paris, Éd. Alphonse Lemerre, first published 1878 GER ITA SPA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Théodore Dubois, Gabriel Fauré, Jenő Hubay, Catherine d'Ollone, Émile Paladilhe, Paul Viardot, Maude Valérie White. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:51

Line count: 20
Word count: 116