by Albert Victor Samain (1858 - 1900)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Tremble argenté, tilleul, bouleau
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Tremble argenté, tilleul, bouleau...
  La lune s'effeuille sur l'eau...

Comme de longs cheveux peignés au vent du soir,
L'odeur des nuits d'été parfume le lac noir ;
Le grand lac parfumé brille comme un miroir.

[La]1 rame tombe et se relève,
Ma barque glisse dans le rêve.
Ma barque glisse dans le ciel,
Sur le lac immatériel...

En cadence les yeux fermés,
Rame, ô mon cœur, ton indolence
A larges coups lents et pâmés.

Là-bas la lune écoute, accoudée au côteau,
Le silence qu'exhale en glissant le bateau...
Trois grands lys frais coupés meurent sur mon manteau.
Vers tes lèvres, ô Nuit voluptueuse et pâle,
Est-ce leur âme, est-ce mon âme qui s'exhale ?

Cheveux des nuits d'argent peignés aux longs roseaux.
Comme la lune sur les eaux,
Comme la rame sur les flots,
Mon âme s'effeuille en sanglots !

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "Ma"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), [adaptation] ; composed by Charles Koechlin.

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

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 21
Word count: 141

Trembling and silvered, linden, birch
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
  Trembling [and] silvered, linden, birch...
  The moon sheds [its leaves] on the water...

Like long hair combed by the night wind,
The scent of the summer nights perfumes the dark lake;
The great perfumed lake glistens like a mirror.

[The]1 oar falls and raises itself,
My boat glides in the dream.
My boat glides in the sky,
On the intangible lake...

In rhythm, with [my] eyes closed,
Row away, oh my heart, your indolence
With long strokes, slow and dreamy.

Over there, the moon listens, leaning on the hill,
[To] the silence which is exhaled [by] the gliding boat...
Three big fresh-cut lilies are dying on my coat.
Toward your lips, oh voluptuous and pale night,
Is it their souls, [or] is it my soul which exhales?

Hair of long reeds is combed [during these] silver nights.
Like the moon on the waters,
Like the oar on the waves,
My soul sheds [its] sobs [like leaves]!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "My"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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: 2016-02-08
Line count: 21
Word count: 157