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The retreat

Language: English

I live no more in the outer world; for me
The rose is faded and the wine-cup dry;
Not that I fall to vainer apathy,
Nor sated with false pleasure, vainly sigh.

But having proved the world in all its ways,
With sense, with dignity, nor fond nor mad,
I find not there a single thing to praise,
No, nor a single thing to make me glad.

A staggering drunken animal I see,
Careering o'er bare mountains and bare plains,
Intent upon its own absurdity,
And loving pleasure only for its pains;

That is the world, ah, friend, let us retire
In to the spacious chamber of our mind
To sit and talk before the cosy fire
And listen to the winter, wailing wind!

Translation(s): FRE FRE SPA

List of language codes

Submitted by Alfredo García


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 or adaptations:

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , title 1: "El retiro", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , title 1: "La retraite", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-12-06.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:01
Line count: 16
Word count: 124

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El retiro

Language: Spanish (Español) after the English

Ya no vivo en el mundo; para mí,
la rosa se ha apagado y la copa de vino está seca;
no porque caiga en una apatía más vana,
o, ahíto de falsos placeres, en vano suspire.

Sino porque tras probar el mundo en todas sus facetas,
con juicio, con dignidad, ni ingenuo ni irritado,
no encuentro en él una sola cosa que elogiar,
ni una sola cosa que me haga feliz.

Veo un animal borracho que se tambalea,
que corre por montañas y llanuras,
obstinado en su absurda existencia,
y amante del placer sólo por su sufrimiento;

ese es el mundo; ¡ah, amigo, retirémonos
al amplio espacio de nuestras mentes
para hablar, sentados, ante el fuego
y escuchar los gemidos del viento invernal!

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 English to Spanish (Español) copyright © 2008 by Alfredo García, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Alfredo García. Contact:
    <alfredogarcia (AT) alfredogarcia (DOT) com>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


Text added to the website: 2008-12-06.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:01
Line count: 16
Word count: 123