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

Dernière épitaphe
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Sous les feuilles noires des lauriers,
sous les fleurs amoureuses des roses, 
c'est ici que je suis couchée, 
moi qui sus tresser le vers au vers, 
et faire fleurir le baiser.

[J'ai grandi sur]1 la terre des nymphes;
j'ai vécu dans l'île des amies; 
je suis morte dans l'île de Kypris. 
C'est pourquoi mon nom est illustre 
et ma stèle frottée d'huile.

Ne me pleure pas, toi qui t'arrêtes:
on m'a fait de belles funérailles: 
les pleureuses se sont arraché les joues; 
on a couché dans ma tombe mes miroirs et mes colliers.

Et maintenant, sur les pâles prairies d'asphodèles,
je me promène, ombre impalpable, 
et le souvenir de ma vie terrestre 
est la joie de ma vie souterraine.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Koechlin: "Je suis née dans"

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: "Last epitaph", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Letzte Grabinschrift", 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: 18
Word count: 119

Last epitaph
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Beneath the black leaves of the laurel,
beneath the amorous blooms of the roses,
it is here that I lay, 
I who could weave verses together, 
and make kisses bloom.

I was born in the land of the nymphs;
I was experienced on the isle of lovers; 
I died on the island of Kypris.
This is why my name is distinguished 
and my column (stele) rubbed with oil.

Do not weep for me, you who have stopped here:
they made my funeral beautiful:  
the  mourners scratched their cheeks; 
they laid my mirrors and necklaces in my tomb.

And now, on the pale prairies  of asphodel, 
I walk, an impalpable shadow, 
and the memory of my earthly life
is the joy of my underworld existence.

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: 18
Word count: 124