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

A speckled cat and a tame hare
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
A speckled cat and a tame hare
Eat at my hearthstone
And sleep there;
And both look up to me alone
For learning and defence
As I look up to Providence.

I start out of my sleep to think
Some day I may forget
Their food [and] drink;
Or, the house door left unshut,
The hare may run till it's found
The horn's sweet note and the tooth of the hound.

I bear a burden that might well try
Men that do all by rule,
And what can I
That am a wandering-witted fool
But pray to God that He ease
My great responsibilities?

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 313.

Grill: "or"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2011-12-28
Line count: 18
Word count: 104

Un chat tacheté et un lièvre apprivoisé
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Un chat tacheté et un lièvre apprivoisé
Mangent près de ma cheminée
Et dorment là ;
Et lèvent les yeux sur moi seul
En quête de savoir et de protection
Comme je lève les yeux vers la Providence

Je suis sorti de mon sommeil en pensant
Qu'un jour je pourrais oublier
Leur nourriture et leur boisson ;
Ou bien laisser ouverte la porte de la maison,
Le lièvre pourrait courir jusqu'à trouver
La douce note du cor et la dent du chien.

Je porte un fardeau que pourraient bien éprouver
Les gens qui font tout selon la règle,
Et que puis-je faire d'autre,
Si je suis un un fou à l'esprit vagabond,
Que prier Dieu pour qu'Il allège
Mes grandes responsabilités ?

About the headline (FAQ)


  • 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: 2015-12-29
Line count: 18
Word count: 122