by Maurice Rollinat (1846 - 1903)
Translation © by Charles Hopkins (1952 - 2007)

L'étang
Language: French (Français) 
Plein de très vieux poissons frappés de cécité,
L'étang, sous un ciel bas roulant de sourds tonnerres,
Etale entre ses joncs plusieurs fois centenaires
La clapotante horreur de son opacité.

Là-bas, des farfadets servent de luminaires
A plus d'un marais noir, sinistre et redouté ;
Mais lui ne se révèle en ce lieu déserté
Que par ses bruits affreux de crapauds poitrinaires.

Or, la lune qui point tout juste en ce moment,
Semble s'y regarder si fantastiquement,
Que l'on dirait, à voir sa spectrale figure,

Son nez plat et le vague étrange de ses dents,
Une tête de mort éclairée en dedans
Qui viendrait se mirer dans une glace obscure.

Confirmed with Maurice Rollinat, Les Névroses, Paris, Fasquelle, 1917, page 326.


Authorship

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):

  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The Pool", written 2002, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The Pond", written 2005, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2008-09-07
Line count: 14
Word count: 110

The Pool
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Full of ancient fish struck with blindness,
The pool, beneath a lowering sky rolling with muted thunder,
Disperses between its centuries old rushes
The lapping horror of its murky depths.

Down there, water-sprites light the gloom
Of a swamp blacker than black, sinister and fearsome;
Nothing emerges from this desolate place
But the hideous din of its consumptive toads.

Now, the moon[,] which rises just at this moment
Appears to regard herself in such a supernatural light,
One might say, as she catches sight of her ghostly form there.

Her flat nose and the strange ripple of her teeth,
A death’s head illuminated from within
That would come to see its reflection in a mirror of darkness.

Confirmed with an original Microsoft Word Document provided by Alistair Hinton.


Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Another version of this text exists in the database.


Researcher for this text: Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-08-03
Line count: 14
Word count: 117