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

Hymne à la nuit
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Les masses noires des arbres 
ne bougent pas plus que des montagnes.
Les étoiles emplissent un ciel immense.  
Un air chaud comme un souffle humain caresse
mes yeux et mes joues.

Ô Nuit qui enfantas les Dieux! 
comme tu es douce sur mes lèvres! 
comme tu es chaude dans me cheveux! 
comme tu entres en moi ce soir, 
et comme je me sens grosse de tout ton printemps!

Les fleurs qui vont [fleurir]1 vont toutes
naitre de moi.  Le vent qui respire est mon haleine. 
Le parfum qui passe est mon désir. 
Toutes les étoiles sont dans mes yeux.

Ta voix, est-ce le bruit de la mer, 
est-ce le silence de la plaine? 
Ta voix, je ne la comprends pas, 
mais elle me jette la tête aux pieds 
et mes larmes lavent mes deux mains.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Koechlin: "fleurir cette nuit"

Authorship:

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: "Hymn to the night", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Hymne an die Nacht", 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: 19
Word count: 135

Hymn to the night
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The black masses of the trees 
move no more than do the mountains.  
The stars are crowded in an immense sky.
A breeze warm as a human breath caresses
my cheeks and my eyes.

Oh Night who gave birth  to the Gods! 
how sweet you are upon my lips!
how warm you are in my hair! 
how you enter into me this night, 
and I how I feel large with all your spring!

The flowers which are going to bloom will be
born of me.  The wind which breathes is my breath. 
The perfume which wafts is my desire.
All the stars are in my eyes.

Your voice, is it the noise of the sea, 
or is is the silence of the plain?  
Your voice, I do not  understand it, 
but it dizzies me,
and my tears bathe my two hands.

Authorship:

  • 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.
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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 19
Word count: 141