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

The island dreams under the dawn
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The island dreams under the dawn
And great boughs drop tranquillity;
The peahens dance on a smooth lawn,
A parrot sways upon a tree,
Raging at his own image in the enamelled sea.

Here we will moor our lonely ship
And wander ever with woven hands,
Murmuring softly lip to lip,
Along the grass, along the sands,
Murmuring how far away are the unquiet lands:

How we alone of mortals are
Hid under quiet boughs apart,
While our love grows an Indian star,
A meteor of the burning heart,
One with the tide that gleams, the wings that gleam and dart,

The heavy boughs, the burnished dove
That moans and sighs a hundred days:
How when we die our shades will rove,
When eve has hushed the feathered ways,
[Dropping a vapoury footsole on the tide's drowsy blaze.]1.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Dublin University Review, December 1886; revised 1895.

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of William B. Yeats in two volumes, volume 1 : Lyrical Poems, The Macmillan Company, New York and London, 1906, page 28.

1 in another edition: "With vapoury footsole by the water's drowsy blaze"


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) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-20
Line count: 20
Word count: 138

L'île rêve sous l'aurore
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
L'île rêve sous l'aurore
Et la tranquillité goutte des grandes branches ;
Les paonnes dansent sur une douce pelouse,
Un perroquet se balance sur un arbre
Furieux après sa propre image dans une mer émaillée.

Ici nous amarrerons notre navire solitaire
Et toujours, les mains entrelacées,
Chuchotant doucement lèvres contre lèvres,
Errerons au long des herbes, au long des sables,
Chuchotant combien sont loin les pays inquiets :

Nous seuls parmi les mortels
Sommes cachés à l'écart sous les branches  calmes,
Tandis que croît notre amour comme une étoile hindoue,
Météore sur un cœur enflammé,
Avec la mer qui miroite, les ailes qui brillent et dardent,
Lourdes branches, colombe chatoyante
Qui gémit et soupire des centaines de jours :
Comment nos ombres erreront lorsque nous mourrons,
Quand le soir aura fait silence sur la route des oiseaux,
[Étalant un voile vaporeux sur le feu endormi de la mer]1.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "The Indian to his love" = "L'hindou à son amour"
1 in another edition: "Avec un voile vaporeux près du feu endormi de l'eau."


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 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: 2016-01-04
Line count: 20
Word count: 148