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

I wander by the edge
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
I wander by the edge 
Of this desolate lake 
Where wind cries in the sedge:
Until the axle break 
That keeps the stars in their round, 
And hands hurl in the deep 
The banners of East and West. 
And the girdle of light is unbound, 
Your breast will not lie by the breast
Of your beloved in sleep.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 32.

Note: first published in Dome, May 1898 as one of the "Aodh to Dectora. Three Songs", revised 1899, revised 1906.


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

Researcher for this text: David K. Smythe

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 10
Word count: 58

J'erre au bord
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
J'erre au bord
De ce lac désolé
Où le vent crie dans les carex :
Jusqu'à ce que se brise l'axe
Qui maintient la ronde des étoiles,
Et que des mains jettent dans l'abîme
Les bannières de l'Est et de l'Ouest,
Et que la ceinture de lumière soit dénouée
Ta poitrine ne reposera pas près de la poitrine
De ta bien aimée endormie.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "He hears the Cry of the Sedge" = "Il entend le Cri des Carex"


  • 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: 10
Word count: 63