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

O cloud‑pale eyelids, dream‑dimmed eyes
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
O cloud-pale eyelids, dream-dimmed eyes
The poets labouring all their days
To build a perfect beauty in rhyme
Are overthrown by a woman's gaze
And by the unlabouring brood of the skies:
And therefore my heart will bow, when dew
Is dropping sleep, until God burn time,
Before the unlabouring stars and you.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 31.

First published in Senate, May 1896, as part of "O'Sullivan the Red to Mary Lavell", 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: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-09-17
Line count: 8
Word count: 53

Ô nuages pâles des paupières, rêveries...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Ô nuages pâles des paupières, rêveries vagues des yeux,
Les poètes qui tous les jours s'échinent
À construire dans leurs vers une beauté parfaite
Sont vaincus par le regard d'une femme
Et par l'indolence de la nichée du ciel :
Et c'est pourquoi mon cœur s'incline quand la rosée
Tombe de sommeil, jusqu'à ce que Dieu brûle le temps,
Devant les étoiles indolentes et toi.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "He tells of the Perfect Beauty" = "Il parle de la Beauté Parfaite"


  • 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