Translation by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 - 1909)

Love at sea
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
We are in love's land to-day;
    Where shall we go?
Love, shall we start or stay,
    Or sail or row?
There 's many a wind and way,
And never a May but May;
We are in love's hand to-day;
    Where shall we go?
 
Our landwind is the breath
Of sorrows kiss'd to death
    And joys that were;
Our ballast is a rose;
Our way lies where God knows
    And love knows where.
    We are in love's hand to-day --

Our seamen are fledged Loves,
Our masts are bills of doves,
    Our decks fine gold;
Our ropes are dead maids' hair,
Our stores are love-shafts fair
    And manifold.
    We are in love's land to-day --

Where shall we land you, sweet?
On fields of strange men's feet,
    Or fields near home?
Or where the fire-flowers blow,
Or where the flowers of snow
    Or flowers of foam?
    We are in love's hand to-day --

Land me, she says, where love
Shows but one shaft, one dove,
    One heart, one hand, --
A shore like that, my dear,
Lies where no man will steer,
    No maiden land.

Note: the poem is followed by the indication "Imitated from Théophile Gautier"

Authorship

Based on

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:


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2013-03-18 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:09
Line count: 35
Word count: 180