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Le martin‑pêcheur

Language: French (Français)

Ça n'a pas mordu, ce soir,
mais je rapporte une rare émotion. 

Comme je tenais ma perche de ligne tendue, 
un martin-pêcheur est venu s'y poser.

Nous n'avons pas d'oiseau plus éclatant. 
Il semblait une grosse fleur bleue
au bout d'une longue tige. 
La perche pliait sous le poids.  
Je ne respirais plus, tout fier d'être pris 
pour un arbre par un martin-pêcheur.

Et je suis sûr qu'il ne s'est pas envolé de peur,
mais qu'il a cru qu'il ne faisait que passer
d'une branche à une autre.

Translation(s): ENG FIN GER

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Ahmed E. Ismail) , "The kingfisher", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kuningaskalastaja", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Eisvogel", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:46
Line count: 13
Word count: 88

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The kingfisher

Language: English after the French (Français)

Nothing bit this evening, 
but I felt once more a rare emotion. 

As I held my pole with line out, 
a kingfish landed on it. 

There is no more striking bird. 
It seemed like a giant blue flower 
at the end of a long stem. 
The pole bent under its weight. 
I dared not breathe, proud to have been taken 
for a tree by a kingfisher. 

And I was certain that he did not take off from fear, 
but because he believed he was only passing 
from one branch to another.

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 © 2005 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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: 2005-09-22.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:14
Line count: 13
Word count: 91