by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)
Translation © by Tim Palmer

Your hands lie open in the long fresh...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): CAT FRE SPA
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, -
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing [clouds]1 that scatter and amass.

All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour glass.

Deep in the sunsearched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: -
So this winged hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Vaughan Williams: "skies"


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Sílvia Pujalte Piñán) , "Migdia silenciós", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Tim Palmer) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Mercedes Vivas) , copyright © 2011, (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: 14
Word count: 113

Tes mains ouvertes reposent sur l’herbe...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Tes mains ouvertes reposent sur l’herbe longe et fraîche,
les pointes des doigts regardent à travers comme des floraisons :
tes yeux sourient la paix. Le pâturage luit et assombrit
sous les ciels tournoyants qui dispersent et s’accumulent.  

Tout autour de notre nid, jusqu’où l’œuil peut voir,
sont des champs de boutons d’or à bords d’argent,
où le cerfeuil des bois contourne la haie d’aubépine.
C’est le silence visible, immobile comme le sablier.

Au cœur des pousses recherchées par le soleil la libellule
est suspendu comme un fil bleu relâché du ciel ;
ainsi cette heure ailée nous est lâchée d’en haut.
Oh nous serrons à nos cœurs, pour une dot sans mort,
cette heure de compagnie intime inexprimable
quand le silence double était la chanson d’amour.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Silent noon" = "Midi silencieux"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2017 by Tim Palmer, (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: 2017-07-07
Line count: 14
Word count: 127