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

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange -- my youth.

Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Love Songs, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1917, page 50.


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Sagesse", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-24
Line count: 8
Word count: 50

Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Quand j'aurai cessé de me briser les ailes
Sur l'imperfection des choses,
Et appris que les compromis attendent
Derrière chaque porte à peine ouverte,
Quand je pourrai regarder la Vie dans les yeux,
Devenir calme et très froidement sage,
La vie m'aura offert la Vérité,
Et pris en échange ma jeunesse.


  • 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: 51