by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

I went out to the hazel wood
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called [me by]1 my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple [blossom]2 in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
[And walk among long dappled grass,]1
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Sketch, August 1897, revised 1899, renamed "Song of Wandering Aengus"
1 omitted by Edmunds
2 Edmunds: "blossoms"


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) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Das Lied des Wandernden Aengus", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2007-05-02
Line count: 24
Word count: 164

Je suis allé au bois de noisetiers
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Je suis allé au bois de noisetiers
Car j'avais un feu dans ma tête,
Et j'ai coupé et pelé une baguette,
Et accroché une baie à un fil ;
Et quand les blancs papillons prirent leur envol,
Et que les étoiles-papillons scintillaient,
Je plongeai la baie dans un ruisseau
Et attrapai une petite truite argentée.

Quand je l'eus posée sur le sol
Je me mis à attiser le feu,
Mais quelque chose palpita sur le sol
Et quelqu'un m'appela par mon nom :
Elle était devenue une fille nitescente
Avec une fleur de pommier dans les cheveux,
Elle m'appela par mon nom et partit en courant
Et disparut dans l'air s'éclairant.

Bien que je sois usé par les voyages
Sur des terres creuses et des terres vallonnées,
Je trouverai où elle est passée,
Et j'embrasserai ses lèvres et prendrai ses mains ;
Et marcherai dans de hautes herbes tachetées,
Et cueillerai jusqu'à la fin des temps et des temps
Les pommes d'argent de la lune,
Les pommes d'or du soleil.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "A mad song" = "Chanson folle"


  • 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: 2015-12-27
Line count: 24
Word count: 170