by Pierre-Félix Louis (1870 - 1925), as Pierre Louÿs
Translation © by Sarah Daughtrey

Chant funèbre
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Chantez un chant funèbre, muses Mytiléniennes, chantez!  
La terre est sombre comme un vêtement de deuil 
et les arbres jaunes frissonnent comme des chevelures coupées.

Héraïos! ô mois triste et doux! les feuilles tombent
[doucement comme la neige;]1 
le soleil est plus pénétrant 
dans la forêt éclaircie... 
Je n'entends plus rien que le silence.

Voici qu'on a porté au tombeau Pittakos chargé d'années.
Beaucoup sont morts, que j'ai connus. Et celle qui vit 
est pour moi comme si elle n'etait plus.

[Celui-ci est le dixième automne 
que j'ai vu mourir sur cette plaine.]2
Il est temps aussi que je disparaisse. 
Pleurez avec moi, muses Mytiléniennes, pleurez [sur mes pas!]2!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Koechlin: "tombent, neige dorée"
2 omitted by Koechlin.


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):

  • ENG English (Sarah Daughtrey) , title 1: "Funeral song", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Grabgesang", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sarah Daughtrey

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 109

Funeral song
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Sing a funeral song, Mytilenian muses, sing! 
The earth is dark like a mourning cloak
and the yellow trees tremble like shorn tresses.

Heraios! oh sad and gentle month! the leaves fall, 
snow gilded, 
the sun is more penetrating 
in the forest clearing... 
I hear no longer anything but silence.

Here one carried to his tomb Pittakos, down with years.  
Many are dead, that I knew. 
And she who lives is, to me, like she who is no more.

It is time also for me to disappear
Weep with me, Mytilenian muses, weep!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Sarah Daughtrey, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 13
Word count: 93