by Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki (1880 - 1918), as Guillaume Apollinaire
Translation © by Salvador Pila

Celui qui doit mourir ce soir dans les...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG
Celui qui doit mourir ce soir dans les tranchées 
C'est un petit soldat dont l'oeil indolemment
Observe tout le jour aux créneaux de ciment 
Les Gloires qui de nuit y furent accrochées
Celui qui doit mourir ce soir dans les tranchées 
C'est un petit soldat mon frère et mon amant

Et puisqu'il doit mourir je veux me faire belle
Je veux de mes seins nus allumer les flambeaux 
Je veux de mes grands yeux fondre l'étang qui gèle
Et mes hanches je veux qu'elles soient des tombeaux
Car puisqu'il doit mourir je veux me faire belle 
Dans l'inceste et la mort ces deux gestes si beaux 

Les vaches du couchant meuglent toutes leurs roses 
L'aile de l'oiseau bleu m'évente doucement 
C'est l'heure de l Amour aux ardentes névroses 
C'est l'heure de la Mort et du demier serment
Celui qui doit périr comme meurent les roses
C'est un petit soldat mon frère et mon amant

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Authorship

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "En guàrdia", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Salvador Pila) , "On guard", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2016-12-19 12:22:43
Line count: 18
Word count: 154

On guard
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The one that must die this evening in the trenches
is a young soldier who, all day long, stares idly
at the concrete battlements
where the night's glories were hung.  
The one that must die this evening in the trenches
is a young soldier, my brother and my lover.

And since he must die I want to make myself beautiful;
I want my naked breasts to light the torches,
I want my big eyes to melt the pond that freezes.
And my hips, I want them to be the tombs
for, since he must die, I want to make myself beautiful
in both incest and death, these two magnificent deeds.

The cows at sunset low all their roses,
the bluebird's wing fans me softly.
It is the hour of Love, of ardent neuroses.
It is the hour of Death and of the final promise.
The one that must perish, just as the roses die,
is a young soldier, my brother and my lover.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2011 by Salvador Pila, (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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Text added to the website: 2011-05-22 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:23
Line count: 18
Word count: 163