You can help us modernize! The present website has been online for a very long time and we want to bring it up to date. As of May 6, we are $2,380 away from our goal of $15,000 to fund the project. The fully redesigned site will be better for mobile, easier to read and navigate, and ready for the next decade. Please give today to join dozens of other supporters in making this important overhaul possible!

The LiederNet Archive

Much of our material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
Printing texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.

For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
Please read the instructions below the translations before writing!
In your e-mail, always include the names of the translators if you wish to reprint something.

Les sorcières

Language: French (Français)

Ô colère, ô jalousie,
Sorcières aux doigts crochus,
À la figure roussie,
Anges des amours déchus,

J'ai pénétré dans votre antre
Pour savoir la vérité.
Le coeur malade on y entre,
On en sort le coeur gâté.

Vous m'avez dans votre filtre
Et votre noir alambic
Distillé l'horrible philtre
Qui me mord comme un aspic.

Dans votre infernale forge
Dont la haine est le marteau,
Votre patte a pour ma gorge
Forgé le fil d'un couteau.

Et c'est avec votre lame,
C'est avec votre liqueur,
Que j'ai meurtri ma pauvre âme
Et soûlé mon pauvre coeur.

Sorcières de la caverne,
Ô gueuses, je vous maudis.
Vous avez fait un Averne
De mon divin paradis.

Translation(s): ENG ITA

List of language codes

Submitted by Corinne Orde


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 (Corinne Orde) , title 1: "The witches", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Francesco Campanella) , title 1: "Le streghe", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2007-11-23 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-09-02 21:05:53

Line count: 24
Word count: 114

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

The witches

Language: English after the French (Français)

O anger, o jealousy,
Witches with clawed fingers
And red singed faces,
Angels of neglected loves,

I penetrated your lair
To know the truth.
Sick at heart, one enters,
And leaves with wounded heart.

In your filter
And your black still
You distilled for me the horrible philtre
That bites me like an asp.

In your infernal forge,
Where hatred is the hammer,
Your paw forged for my throat
The cutting edge of a knife.

And it is with your blade,
It is with your liquor,
That I have bruised my poor soul
And inebriated my poor heart.

Witches of the cavern,
O hussies, I curse you.
You have made an Avernus1
Out of my divine paradise.

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.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Avernus: ancient name for a crater near Cumae, Italy. In the Aeneid of Virgil, it is the entrance to the underworld.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Corinne Orde, (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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Jean Richepin (1849 - 1926), "Les sorcières", written 1877, appears in Les Caresses, in 3. Brumaire, no. 27, Paris, Éd. M. Dreyfous, first published 1882 ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Louis Vierne. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2007-11-23 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:31

Line count: 24
Word count: 117