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

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE HUN
Had I the [heavens']1 embroidered cloths
Enwrought with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Original title is "Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven"; revised 1906; re-titled "He wishes for the cloths of heaven".

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 45.

1 Gurney: "Heaven's"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Bertram Kottmann , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission ; composed by Gary Bachlund.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 60

Si j'avais les voiles brodés du ciel
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Si j'avais les voiles brodés du ciel
Brochés de lumière d'argent et d'or,
Les voiles bleus et pâles et sombres
De la nuit et de la lumière et du demi-jour,

Je voudrais étendre ces voiles sous tes pieds,
Mais, étant pauvre, je n'ai que mes rêves ;
J'ai étendu mes rêves sous tes pieds ;
Marche à pas légers, car tu marches sur mes rêves.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "He wishes for the cloths of heaven" = "Il veut les voiles du ciel"


  • 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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This text was added to the website: 2015-12-27
Line count: 8
Word count: 65