by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Peter Low

Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Qui aimes-tu le mieux, homme énigmatique, [dis]1 ? 
  Ton père, ta mère, ta sœur [ou]1 ton frère ?
- Je n'ai ni père, ni mère, ni sœur, ni frère.
- Tes amis ?
- Vous vous servez là d'une parole dont le sens 
  m'est restée jusqu'à ce jour inconnu.
- Ta patrie ?
- J'ignore sous quelle latitude elle est située.
- La beauté ?
- Je l'aimerais volontiers, déesse et immortelle.
- L'or ?
- Je le hais comme vous haïssez Dieu.
- Eh ! qu'aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger ?
- J'aime les nuages. Les nuages qui passent... 
  là-bas...là-bas les merveilleux nuages !

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Barraqué.


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 English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Arthur Farwell.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Erich Zeisl.

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

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "The stranger", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-04-03
Line count: 15
Word count: 104

The stranger
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Who do you love most, enigmatic man – say it - 
  your father, your mother, your sister or your brother?
- I have no father, no mother, no sister, no brother.
- Your friends?
- The meaning of that word 
  has always been unknown to me.
- Your homeland?
- I don't know what latitude it lies in.
- Beauty?
- That I would gladly love, as a goddess or immortal woman.
- Gold?
- I hate it as you hate God.
- Eh! What do you love then, extraordinary stranger?
- I love the clouds… the clouds that pass… 
  there… up there… the marvellous clouds!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 by Peter Low, (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: 2017-09-12
Line count: 15
Word count: 106