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The LiederNet Archive

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La caravane humaine au Sahara du monde

Language: French (Français)

La caravane humaine au Sahara du monde,
Par ce chemin des ans qui n'a [pas]1 de retour,
S'en va traînant le pied, brùlée aux feux du jour,
Et buvant sur ses bras la sueur qui l'inonde.

Le grand lion rugit et la tempète gronde:
À l'horizon fuyard, ni minaret, ni tour;
La seule ombre qu'on ait, c'est l'ombre du vautour,
Qui traverse le ciel, cherchant sa proie immonde.

L'on avance toujours, et voici que l'on voit
Quelque chose de vert que l'on se montre au doigt:
C'est un bois de cyprès, semé de blanches pierres.

Dieu, pour vous reposer, dans le désert du temps,
Comme des oasis a mis les cimetières:
Couchez-vous et dormez, voyageurs haletants!

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Chausson: "plus"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , no title, copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:29

Line count: 14
Word count: 116

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The human caravan in the Sahara of the...

Language: English after the French (Français)

The human caravan in the Sahara of the world,
on this road of years where there is no returning,
plods on with dragging feet, burned by the heat of the day;
the people drink from their arms the sweat that drenches them.
The great lion roars and the tempest rumbles;
on the receding horizon there is no minaret or tower.
The only shadow to be had is that of the vulture
as it crosses the sky seeking its unclean prey.
They trudge always onward.  And now someone sees
something green and points it out with a finger!
It is a cypress grove with white stones planted in it.

God, to give you rest, in the desert of time
has placed, like oases, cemeteries.
Lie down and sleep, panting travellers!

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.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "La caravane" = "The caravan"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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 French (Français) by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "La caravane", appears in La Comédie de la Mort, first published 1838
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Joseph Bovet, Louis-Charles-Bonaventure-Alfred Bruneau, Ernest Amédée Chausson, Alban Dorcy, Alphonse Duvernoy, Franz Tournier, Ludovic de Vaux, Baron, Anselm Vinée. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2017-07-30 18:03:06

Line count: 14
Word count: 129