by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956)
Translation © by Tim Palmer

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Far are the shades of Arabia,
Where the Princes ride at noon,
'Mid the verdurous vales and thickets,
Under the ghost of the moon;
And so dark is that vaulted purple
Flowers in the forest rise
And toss into blossom 'gainst the phantom stars
Pale in the noonday skies.

Sweet is the music of Arabia
In my heart, when out of dreams
I still in the thin clear mirk of dawn
Descry her gliding streams;
Hear her strange lutes on the green banks
Ring loud with the grief and delight
Of the dim-silked, dark-haired Musicians
In the brooding silence of night.

They haunt me - her lutes and her forests:
No beauty on earth I see
But shadowed with that dream recalls
Her loveliness to me:
Still eyes look coldly upon me,
Cold voices whisper and say - 
"He is crazed with the spell of far Arabia,
They have stolen his wits away."


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):

  • FRE French (Français) (Tim Palmer) , title 1: "L’Arabie", copyright © 2017, (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: 24
Word count: 153

Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Loin sont les ombres de l’Arabie,
où les Princes montent à cheval à midi,
parmi les vallées vertes et les halliers,
sous le fântome de la lune;
et cette pourpre voûtée est tellement sombre
les fleurs dans la forêt poussent
et fleurissent contre les étoiles fântomes
pâles sous les cieux de midi.

Douce est la musique d’Arabie
dans mon cœur, quand sorti de rêves
immobile dans la légère claire obscurité de l’aube
j’aperçois ses ruisseaux glissants;
écoutez ses luths étranges sur les rives vertes
sonnent forts avec le chagrin et le grand plaisir
des musiciens à cheveux foncés en soie sombre
dans le silence troublant de la nuit.

Ils me hantent – ses luths et ses forêts ;
je vois aucune beauté sur la terre
mais ombragé avec ce rêve me rappele
sa charme ;
Les yeux immobiles me regardent froidement,
Les voix froides murmurent et disent
« il est rendu fou par le sortilège de l’Arabie,
ils ont volé sa sagesse. »


  • 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: 2017-07-08
Line count: 24
Word count: 163