by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

The tune
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
I know a certain tune that my life plays;
Over and over I have heard it start
With all the wavering loveliness of violas
And gain in swiftness like a runners heart.

It climbs and climbs; I watch it sway in climbing
High over time, high even over doubt,
It has all heaven to itself -- it pauses
And faltering blindly down the air, goes out.

Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Dark of The Moon, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1926, page 84.


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Un air", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-02-13
Line count: 8
Word count: 65

Un air
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Je connais un certain air que joue ma vie ;
Encore et encore, je l'ai entendu préluder
Avec tout le charme hésitant des altos
Et gagner en rapidité comme le cœur d'un coureur.

Il grimpe et grimpe ; je l'entends vaciller en grimpant
Plus haut avec le temps, plus haut même au-dessus du doute,
Il a le ciel tout entier pour lui, il marque une pause
Et titubant, aveugle, dégringole, disparaît.


  • 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2015-10-13
Line count: 8
Word count: 71