by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Laura L. Nagle

Ô triste, triste était mon âme
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Ô triste, triste était mon âme
À cause, à cause d'une femme. 

Je ne me suis pas consolé 
Bien que mon cœur s'en soit allé.

Bien que mon cœur, bien que mon âme 
Eussent fui loin de cette femme. 

Je ne me suis pas consolé,
Bien que mon cœur s'en soit allé. 

Et mon cœur, mon cœur trop sensible 
Dit à mon âme : Est-il possible, 

Est-il possible, -- le fût-il, -- 
Ce fier exil, ce triste exil ? 

Mon âme dit à mon cœur : Sais-je 
Moi-même, que nous veut ce piège 

D'être présents bien qu'exilés, 
Encore que loin en allés ?

About the headline (FAQ)


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Serbian (Српски), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ; composed by Anton Lajovic.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura L. Nagle) , "Oh, sad, sad was my heart", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Pierre Mathé) , "O traurig, traurig war meine Seele", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-09-03 07:38:47
Line count: 16
Word count: 101

Oh, sad, sad was my heart
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Oh, sad, sad was my heart,
Because, because of a woman.

I found no consolation
Though my heart had gone away,

Though my heart, though my soul
Had fled far from this woman.

I found no consolation
Though my heart had gone away.

And my heart, my too sensitive heart
Said to my soul: Is it possible,

Is it possible, -- was it, --
This proud exile, this sad exile?

My soul said to my heart: Do I myself
Know what this trap wants from us, this trap

Of being present even when exiled,
Even though gone far away?


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Laura L. Nagle, (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.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2007-02-04 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:20
Line count: 16
Word count: 97