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Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés en...

Language: French (Français)

Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés en pure perte ;
Le dernier de vous tous est parti sur la mer.
Le couchant emporta tant de voiles ouvertes
Que ce port et mon cœur sont à jamais déserts.

La mer vous a rendus à votre destinée,
Au-delà du rivage où s'arrêtent nos pas.
Nous ne pouvions garder vos âmes enchaînées ;
Il vous faut des lointains que je ne connais pas

Je suis de ceux dont les désirs sont sur la terre.
Le souffle qui vous grise emplit mon cœur d'effroi,
Mais votre appel, au fond des soirs, me désespère,
Car j'ai de grands départs inassouvis en moi.

Translation(s): ENG ENG GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Jean de La Ville de Mirmont, L’Horizon chimérique, Recueil posthume, Éd. Société Littéraire de France, 1920.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Didier Pelat


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 (Faith J. Cormier) , "Tall ships, we loved you", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , "Schiffe, wir haben euch geliebt", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-10-22.
Last modified: 2017-03-10 19:52:58
Line count: 12
Word count: 106

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Tall ships, we loved you

Language: English after the French (Français)

 Tall ships, we loved you, never counting
 Gain or loss. Against the evening sky
 You loom into the sunset, canvas mounting.
 Empty we stand, forlorn, the port and I.
 The sea has sped you onward to your own fate.
 Our feet are rooted here upon the sand.
 Your souls with chains we never dared to weight.
 You yearn for places where I'll never stand.
 A landsman, I, and my desires are here.
 Your call at midnight leads me to despair.
 You thrive on winds that fill my heart with cold fear.
 I long for foreign shores I'll never dare.

 Vessels, we would have loved you, even if all were lost. The last of you has
 set sail. So many unfurled sails have melted into the setting sun that this
 port, and my heart, will be deserted forever. The sea has taken you to your
 destiny, beyond the shore on which we stand. We could not keep your souls in
 chains. You need the distances that I do not know. But my desires lie on land.
 The breeze that intoxicates you fills my heart with fear. Yet your call, in
 the depths of the evening, fills me with despair because I long in vain to
 leave as well.

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 © by Faith J. Cormier, (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


Text added to the website: 2003-10-22.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:57
Line count: 20
Word count: 208