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

An Irish airman foresees his death
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 245.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Un aviateur irlandais prévoit sa mort", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-09-17
Line count: 16
Word count: 105

Un aviateur irlandais prévoit sa mort
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Je sais que je rencontrerai mon destin
Quelque part là-haut au-dessus des nuages,
Je ne hais pas ceux que je combats,
Je n'aime pas ceux que je protège ;
Mon pays est Kiltartan Cross,
Mes compatriotes les pauvres de Kiltartan,
Aucune fin probable ne leur causerait du tort
Ou les laisserait plus heureux qu'avant.
Ni loi ni devoir ne m'enjoignait de combattre,
Ni hommes publics, ni foule en liesse,
Un besoin unique de joie
Me conduisait à ce tumulte dans les nuages ;
Je pesais tout, me rappelais tout,
Les années à venir semblaient perte de souffle, 
Perte de souffle les années passées
Comparées à cette vie, à cette mort.

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.
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This text was added to the website: 2015-12-28
Line count: 16
Word count: 110