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Sir Watkin intending

Language: English

Sir Watkin intending,
The morning befriending,
Through woodlands descending,
To hunt the wild deer;
Now slumb'ring, of course, Sir,
Dreams of his bay horse, Sir,
And proud of his force, Sir,
Begins his career.
And forth as he sallies,
Up hills, and down vallies,
Around him he rallies
A train like a peer.

His hunter goes featly,
His stag-hounds run fleetly,
The bugle sounds sweetly,
They raise a fat doe.
Now turning and winding,
Then losing, then finding,
No obstacle minding,
Still forward they go.
All danger subduing,
Impatient pursuing,
With ardour renewing,
Yet ever too slow.

With whoop and with hollo,
His merry men follow,
She skims like a swallow,
And flies like the wind.
Sir Watkin, however,
Who quits the chase never,
Swam over a river,
And left them behind.
The day was fast closing,
His way he was losing,
The road was so posing,
No path could he find.

A castle high frowning,
The lofty rock crowning,
Dim twilight embrowning,
Hung over his head.
And thitherward bending,
With steps slow ascending,
The courser attending,
He cautiously led.
Now dark'ness o'ertaking,
And crags the way breaking,
He fell - and awaking,
The vision was fled!

Translation(s): FRE

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Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le rêve de Sir Watkin", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-02-27.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:09
Line count: 48
Word count: 197

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Le rêve de Sir Watkin

Language: French (Français) after the English

Sir Watkin se proposant,
Le matin étant favorable,
De descendre à travers les bois,
Pour chasser le cerf sauvage ;
Maintenant dormant paisiblement, bien sûr, Sir,
Rêve de son cheval bai, Sir,
Et fier de sa force, Sir,
Commence sa course.
Et il sort gaiement,
Par monts et par vaux,
Autour de lui il rassemble
Une suite comme un pair.

Son cheval de chasse avance fièrement,
Sa meute court comme l'éclair,
Le cor sonne mélodieusement,
Ils lèvent une biche grasse.
Maintenant ils tournent, ils serpentent,
Puis ils perdent, puis ils trouvent,
Ne se souciant d'aucun obstacle,
Toujours, ils avancent.
Ils vainquent tous les dangers,
Poursuivant avec impatience,
Redoublant d'ardeur,
Mais toujours trop lents.

Avec des cris et des hurlements,
Ses joyeux hommes suivent,
Elle rase le sol comme une hirondelle,
Et vole comme le vent.
Sir Watkin, cependant,
Qui n'abandonne jamais la chasse,
Traverse une rivière à la nage,
Et les laisse derrière.
Le jour allait vite tomber,
Il perdait son chemin,
La route était si compliquée,
Il ne put trouver aucun chemin.

Un château haut et sombre,
Couronnant un roc élevé,
Le crépuscule s'assombrit,
Descendit sur sa tête.
Il tourna vers lui,
Montant à pas lents,
Son coursier attentif,
Il le mena précautionneusement.
Maintenant l'obscurité s'abattait,
Et des rochers à pic barraient le chemin,
Il tomba, et en s'éveillant,
La vision avait fui !

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  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (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 English by Anne Hunter (1742 - 1821), "Sir Watkin", written 1800, often linked to a Welsh harp song with several variants called "Llwyn onn" (The ash grove)
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Joseph Haydn. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2009-02-27.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:09
Line count: 48
Word count: 225