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The caterpillar

Language: English

Caterpillar on the wall,
Whither, whither do you crawl?
You know not, yourself, methinks,
Strange and wandering little sphinx!

I will tell you where to go,
Underneath the winter snow
In an old tree's secret hole
You shall hide your little soul.

There, with summer, you shall [sleep]1,
Thence, with summer you shall leap,
Wave your fairy wings on high,
Sip the flowers and kiss the sky.

Emblem worm of many [a]2 thing,
So the [poet's]3 mind can spring
Through the hush of brooding hours,
Kiss the sky and sip the flowers.

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Albéniz: "learn"
2 omitted by Albéniz
3 Albéniz: "joyous"

Submitted by Jean-Pierre Granger


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) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , title 1: "La chenille", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2009-11-19.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 16
Word count: 92

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La chenille

Language: French (Français) after the English

Chenille sur le mur
Mais vers où donc te traines-tu ainsi ?
Tu ne le sais pas toi-même, il me semble,
Étrange petit sphinx errant !

Je vais te dire où aller,
Sous la couverture de neige hivernale
Dans une cavité secrète d'un veil arbre,
Tu y cacheras ta petite âme.

Là, en été tu apprendras,
De là, en été tu t'élèveras,
Tu battras dans les airs, tes ailes de fée,
Boiras au calice des fleurs et embrasseras les cieux.

Vers emblématique de maintes choses,
Pour que l'esprit joyeux puisse jaillir
À travers le silence des heures maussades,
Embrasser les cieux et boire au calice des fleurs.

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.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:27
Line count: 16
Word count: 107