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

The wild swans at Coole
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
  
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
  
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
  
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
  
But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 237.

First published in Little Review, June 1917

Authorship:

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) , "Les cygnes sauvages à Coole", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-09-19
Line count: 30
Word count: 176

Les cygnes sauvages à Coole
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Les arbres ont leur beauté d'automne,
Les chemins forestiers sont secs,
L'eau, sous le crépuscule d'octobre,
Reflète un ciel serein ;
Sur les hautes eaux, parmi les rochers,
Il y a cinquante neuf cygnes.

Dix-neuf automnes sont passés sur moi
Depuis que je fis mon premier décompte ;
Avant même de l'avoir  terminé, je les vis
Soudain tous s'envoler
Et se disperser, tournoyant en de grands cercles brisés
Sur leurs ailes bruyantes.

J'ai regardé ces brillantes créatures,
Et maintenant mon cœur est douloureux.
Tout a changé depuis qu'au crépuscule, entendant
Pour la première fois sur ce rivage
Le son de cloche de leurs ailes au-dessus de ma tête,
Je marchais d'un pas plus léger.

Infatigables et silencieux, amants côte à côte,
Ils pagaient dans les froids,
Accueillants courants ou escaladent les airs ;
Leurs cœurs n'ont pas vieilli ;
Où qu'ils aillent, passions ou conquêtes
Les accompagnent en silence.

Mais maintenant ils dérivent sur l'eau calme,
Mystérieux, beaux ;
Parmi quels joncs bâtiront-ils,
Au bord de quel lac ou étang
Charmeront-ils les yeux d'autres hommes, lorsque je m'éveillerai
Pour trouver qu'ils se sont envolés au loin ?

Authorship:

  • 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.
    Contact: 

Based on:

 

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-27
Line count: 30
Word count: 187