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The LiederNet Archive

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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, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

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

Text added to the website: 2008-12-06 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:01

Line count: 16
Word count: 124

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La retraite

Language: French (Français) after the English

Je ne vis plus dans ce monde; pour moi
La rose est fanée et la coupe de vin est vide ;
Non pas que je succombe à une vaine torpeur,
Ni que je sois assouvis de faux plaisirs, soupir superflu.

Après avoir pesé le monde sous toutes ses facettes,
Avec raison, avec dignité, sans naïveté ni violence,
Je n'y trouve pas une seule chose à glorifier,
Non, pas une seule chose qui puisse me contenter.

Je ne vois qu'un animal ivre titubant,
Se précipiter par monts et vallées,
Asservi à sa propre absurdité et ses ravissants plaisirs 
Seulement pour finir par en souffrir.

Voilà le monde, ah, mon ami, retirons-nous
Dans la chambre spacieuse de notre esprit
S'asseoir et discuter devant un bon feu
Et écouter le gémissement du vent d'hiver.

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 French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Jean-Pierre Granger, (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.

    Jean-Pierre Granger. Contact:
    <trazom69 (AT) hotmail (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: 2009-11-19 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27

Line count: 16
Word count: 131