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I wander thro' each charter'd street

Language: English

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born Infant's tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

Translation(s): FRE

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Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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: "Londres", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:21
Line count: 16
Word count: 92

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Language: French (Français) after the English

Je parcours chaque rue certifiée
Près de l'endroit où la Tamise certifiée coule
Et marque sur chaque visage que je rencontre
Des marques de faiblesse, des marques de malheur.

Dans chaque cri de chaque homme,
Dans chaque cri de peur de chaque enfant,
Dans chaque voix, dans chaque interdit,
J'entends les menottes forgées par l'esprit.

Comme le cri du ramoneur de cheminée
Épouvante chaque église crasseuse
Et le soupir du soldat infortuné
Court en sang sur les murs du palais.

Mais dans beaucoup de rues à minuit j'entends
Comment la malédiction de la jeune prostituée
Foudroie la larme de l'enfant nouveau-né
Et saccage avec des tourments le corbillard du mariage.

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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 William Blake (1757 - 1827), "London", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Experience, no. 18, first published 1794
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): William Earl Averitt, Maximilian Beckschäfer, Judith Bingham, William Bolcom, Benjamin Britten, John Charlton Crawford, Richard Jackson Cumming, Norman Curtis, Ole Carsten Green, Margo Lynn Greene, Sergius Kagen, Timothy Lenk, William James Mathias, Geraldine Dorothy Rasmussen, Peter Schickele, John Austin Sykes, David Van Vactor, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2009-06-26.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:16
Line count: 16
Word count: 110