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La fleur qui va sur l'eau

Language: French (Français)

Sur la mer voilée
D'un brouillard amer
La Belle est allée,
La nuit, sur la mer!

Elle avait aux lèvres
D'un air irrité,
La Rose des Fièvres,
La Rose Beauté!

D'un souffle farouche
L'ouragan hurleur 
Lui baisa la bouche 
Et lui prit la fleur!

Dans l'océan sombre,
Moins sombre déjà,
Où le trois mâts sombre,
La fleur surnagea

L'eau s'en est jouée,
Dans ses noirs sillons;
C'est une bouée
Pour les papillons

Et l'embrun, la Houle
Depuis cette nuit,
Les brisants où croule
Un sauvage bruit,

L'alcyon, la voile,
L'hirondelle autour;
Et l'ombre et l'étoile
Se meurent d'amour,

Et l'aurore éclose
Sur le gouffre clair
Pour la seule rose
De toute la mer!

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , title 1: "The flower floating on the water", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:41
Line count: 32
Word count: 113

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The flower floating on the water

Language: English after the French (Français)

On the sea which was veiled
in bitter fog
the Fair Lady set out
at night, on the sea!

Between her lips
indignantly she held
the "Rose of the Fevers",
the Beauty Rose!

The shrieking tempest
with its fierce breath
kissed her on the mouth
and took the flower!

In the sombre ocean
(already less sombre)
where the three-master sank,
the flower floated.

The waves ignored it
in their dark furrows.
It was a buoy attracting
the butterflies.

And ever since that night
the spray, the swell,
the breakers crashing
with savage noise,

the kingfishers, the swallows
the sailing-boats nearby,
the shadows and the stars
have been pining away -

and the dawn breaking
over the bright deep water
- for love of the only rose
on the whole wide ocean!

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 © 2004 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 Catulle Mendès (1841 - 1909)
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Gabriel Fauré. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2004-03-28.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:04
Line count: 32
Word count: 131