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

I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE ITA
I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love's lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 19.


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
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Michael Robartes invita la sua amata a stare serena", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-06-14
Line count: 12
Word count: 109

J'entends les Chevaux de l'Ombre,...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
J'entends les Chevaux de l'Ombre, longues crinières agitées,
Lourd tumulte de leurs sabots, lueur blanche de leurs yeux ;
Le Nord dévoile au-dessus d'eux une nuit collante, rampante,
L'Est sa joie cachée avant l'arrivée du matin,
L'Ouest pleure une pâle rosée et soupire en disparaissant,
Le Sud déverse des roses de feu cramoisi :
Ô vanité du Sommeil, Espoir, Rêve, Désir sans fin,
Les Chevaux du Désastre plongent dans la lourde glaise :
Bien-aimée, garde les yeux mi-clos, et fait battre ton cœur
Sur mon cœur, et tomber tes cheveux sur ma poitrine,
Noyant l'heure solitaire de l'amour dans un profond crépuscule de quiétude,
Et cachant leurs crinières agitées et leurs pieds tumultueux.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "He bids his Beloved be at Peace" = "Il exhorte sa Bien-aimée à être en Paix"


  • 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: 12
Word count: 113