by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

The end
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE
After the blast of lightning from the East,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot Throne;
After the drums of time have rolled and ceased,
And by the bronze west long retreat is blown,

Shall life renew these bodies? Of a truth
All death will He annul, all tears assuage? -
[Or fill these void veins full again with youth]1,
And wash, with an immortal water, Age?

When I do ask white Age he saith not so:
"My head hangs weighed with snow."
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
"My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shalls not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the sea, be dried."

View original text (without footnotes)

First published in the Saturday Westminster Gazette, 1919.

1 Britten: "Fill the void veins of Life again with youth"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "La fin", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2008-01-08 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-03-21 16:50:23
Line count: 14
Word count: 115

La fin
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Après la détonation d'un éclair à l'est,
Le fleurissement de nuages sonores, le Chariot Céleste ;
Après que  les tambours du temps eurent roulé et cessé,
Et que la longue retraite vers l'ouest fut détruite par le bronze,

La vie renaîtra-t-elle de ces corps ? D'une vérité
Annulera-t-elle toute mort, tarira-t-elle toutes les larmes ?
[Ou ces veines vides]1, les remplira-t-elle à nouveau de jeunesse
Et d'une eau immortelle purifiera-t-elle l'Âge  ?

Lorsque j'interroge l'Âge blanc, il ne dit pas :
« Ma tête penche sous le poids de la neige. »
Et lorsque j'écoute la Terre, elle dit :
« Mon cœur se serre de douleur. Il est mort.
Mes anciennes cicatrices ne doivent pas être glorifiées,
Ni la mer de mes titanesques larmes asséchée. »

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Ces veines vides de Vie"

Authorship

  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 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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Text added to the website: 2015-03-21 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-03-21 16:51:08
Line count: 14
Word count: 127