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Monte, écureuil, monte au grand chêne

Language: French (Français)

Monte, écureuil, monte au grand chêne,
Sur la branche des cieux prochaine,
Qui plie et tremble comme un jonc.
Cigogne, aux vieilles tours fidèle,
Oh! vole! et monte à tire-d'aile
De l'église à la citadelle,
Du haut clocher au grand donjon.

Vieux aigle, monte de ton aire
A la montagne centenaire
Que blanchit l'hiver éternel;
Et toi qu'en ta couche inquiète
Jamais l'aube ne vit muette,
Monte, monte, vive alouette,
Vive alouette, monte au ciel!

Et maintenant, du haut de l'arbre,
Des flèches de la tour de marbre,
Du grand mont, du ciel enflammé,
A l'horizon, parmi la brume,
Voyez-vous flotter une plume,
Et courir un cheval qui fume,
Et revenir ma bien-aimée?

Translation(s): ENG GER

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About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Ted Perry


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:

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , "Waiting", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:01:34
Line count: 21
Word count: 113

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Language: English after the French (Français)

Oh squirrel, climb high up the larch
till you stand on the topmost branch
however much it  sways and bends!
Oh stork, seek out a higher perch:
ascend with firmly-beating wings
from the tower of the village church
up to the castle battlements!

Old eagle, rise up from your eyrie:
fly to the timeless snow-capped mountains,
to the peak most icy and high!
And you who are early to wake,
never short of songs at day-break,
fly up, fly up, lively lark,
lively lark, climb to the sky!

Now can you see from up the tree
or from the lofty castle keep,
the mountain or the sky's blue dome...
can you not see       out on the plain
the pennant streaming in the breeze
and the speeding horse that brings
the man I love returning home?1

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View original text (without footnotes)
This is a singable translation for the Saint-Saëns version.
1 for the repeat: "that speeding horse that brings to me / the man I love arriving home?"


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2008 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 Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885), "Attente", written 1828, appears in Les Orientales, no. 20 GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Vincent d'Indy, Louis Lacombe, Felipe Pedrell, Charles Camille Saint-Saëns, Richard Wagner. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2008-12-03T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:03:01
Line count: 21
Word count: 135