The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

La mer est plus belle

Language: French (Français)

La mer est plus belle
Que les cathédrales,
Nourrice fidèle,
Berceuse de râles,
La mer qui prie
La Vierge Marie !

Elle a tous les dons
Terribles et doux.
J'entends ses pardons
Gronder ses courroux.
Cette immensité
N'a rien d'entêté.

O! si patiente,
Même quand méchante !
Un souffle ami hante
La vague, et nous chante :
« Vous sans espérance,
Mourez sans souffrance ! »

Et puis sous les cieux
Qui s'y rient plus clairs,
Elle a des airs bleus.
Roses, gris et verts...
Plus belle que tous,
Meilleure que nous !

Translation(s): ENG GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

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 (Leonard Lehrman) , title 1: "The sea is more beautiful", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , title 1: "Das Meer ist schöner", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2015-04-28 15:39:42
Line count: 24
Word count: 93

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

The sea is more beautiful

Language: English after the French (Français)

The sea is more beautiful 
Than cathedrals; 
Faithful nurse, 
Lullaby of death-rattles, 
The sea over which 
The Virgin Mary prays!

It has all qualities, 
Terrible and sweet.  
I hear it pardoning, 
its anger growling.
This immensity 
Is indeterminate.

Oh! So patient, 
Even when naughty! 
A friendly breath haunts 
The wave, and sings to us:
"You without hope, 
Die without suff'ring!"

And then under the skies 
Which scoff that they are brighter,
It shows off its blue, 
Pink, grey, and green...
More beautiful than anything, 
Better than we!

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 French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by Leonard Lehrman, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

    Leonard Lehrman. Contact:
    <ljlehrman (AT) nassaulibrary (DOT) org>

    If the copyright-holder(s) are unreachable for three business days, please write to:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896), no title, written 1880, appears in Sagesse, in Sagesse III, no. 15, Paris, Société générale de Librairie catholique, Éd. Victor Pamé, first published 1881 GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Jacques Beers, Nadia Boulanger, Claude Achille Debussy, André Dulaurens, Louis Durey, Klaus Miehling, François-Joseph Sterck, Théodore Terestchenko. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2012-04-30.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:53
Line count: 24
Word count: 87