by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

[Ever-returning]1 spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming [perennial and drooping star in the west]2,
And thought of him I love.

G. Crumb sets lines 1, 3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fine: "O Ever-returning"
2 Hartmann: "perennial, misery you give to us all,"


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

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Quand les derniers lilas dans la petite cour fleurissaient", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail

This text was added to the website: 2005-01-13
Line count: 6
Word count: 52

Quand les derniers lilas dans la petite cour fleurissaient
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Quand les derniers lilas dans la petite cour fleurissaient,
Et que la grand étoile disparaissait tôt dans le ciel à l'ouest dans la nuit,
Je pleurais, et je pleurerai avec le printemps qui revient toujours.

Printemps qui revient toujours, une trinité sûre pour moi, tu apportes,
Le lilas qui fleurit éternellement et l'étoile qui disparaît à l'ouest,
Et une pensée pour celui que j'aime.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2017 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2017-05-14
Line count: 6
Word count: 64