by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch's destinie!
McPherson's1 time will not be long,
On yonder gallows-tree.
   Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
   Sae dauntingly gae'd he:
   He play'd a spring, and danc'd it round
   Below the gallows-tree.

O what is death but parting breath?
On many a bloody plain
I've dar'd his face, and in this place
I scorn him yet again!
   Sae rantingly, sae wantonly...

Untie these bands from off my hands,
And bring to me my sword[;]2
And there 's no a man in all Scotland,
But I'll brave him at a word.
   Sae rantingly, sae wantonly...

I've liv'd a life of sturt and strife; 
I die by treacherie:
It burns my heart I must depart
And not avenged be.
   Sae rantingly, sae wantonly...

Now farewell, light, thou sunshine bright,
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!
   Sae rantingly, sae wantonly...

J. Haydn sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some editions, "M'Pherson"
2 in some editions, ","
sturt = trouble

Authorship

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:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Josef Václav Sládek) , "Mac Phersonovo loučení"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "L'adieu de McPherson", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-19
Line count: 28
Word count: 153

L'adieu de McPherson
Language: French (Français)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Adieu, sombres et puissants donjons,
Destinée du misérable !
Le temps de McPherson ne sera pas long,
Sur l'arbre-gibet là-bas.
  Refrain :  Extravagant, badinant,
  Intrépide, il avança :
  Il joua un printemps, et dansa
  Sous les arbres-gibets.

Oh, qu'est la mort sinon un souffle qui s'en va ?
Sur bien des plaines ensanglantées
Je l'ai défiée en face, et à cet endroit
Je la méprise encore !
  Refrain

Détachez ces liens de mes mains,
Et apportez-moi mon épée ;
Et il n'y a aucun homme dans toute l'Écosse
Que je ne braverais à l'épée.
  Refrain

J'ai vécu une vie de troubles et de disputes ;
Je meurs par traîtrise :
Cela me brûle le cœur de partir
Et de ne pas être vengé.
  Refrain

Maintenant, adieu lumière, à toi lumineux soleil,
et à tout ce qui est sous le ciel !
Que la honte du couard souille le nom
Du misérable qui n'ose mourir !
  Refrain

J. Haydn a mis en musique les strophes 1-2, 4-5.

Authorship

  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Pierre Mathé, (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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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2014-10-22
Line count: 28
Word count: 156