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

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
From my spirit's gray defeat,
From my pulse's flagging beat,
From my hopes that turned to sand
Sifting through my close-clenched hand,
From my own fault's slavery,
If I can sing, I still am free.

For with my singing I can make
A refuge for my spirit's sake,
A house of shining words, to be
My fragile immortality.

Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Love Songs, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1917, page 53.


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) , "Refuge", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2011-02-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-10-13 18:44:05
Line count: 10
Word count: 58

Language: French (Français)  after the English 
De la grise défaite de mon esprit,
Du battement faiblissant de mon pouls,
De mes espoirs réduits en sable
Passant le crible de mes mains serrées,
De l'esclavage de mes propres fautes,
Si je peux chanter, je suis encore libre.

Car de mon chant je peux faire
Un refuge pour le bien de mon esprit,
Une maison de mots brillants, pour être
Ma fragile immortalité.


  • 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


Text added to the website: 2015-10-13 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-10-13 18:43:45
Line count: 10
Word count: 65