by Franz Toussaint (1879 - 1955)
Translation © by Charles Hopkins (1952 - 2007)

La lampe
Language: French (Français)  after the Persian (Farsi) 
Une certaine nuit, mon ami pénétra dans ma demeure. 
Je me [levai]1 avec une telle promptitude, que ma lampe tomba.
Mon ami m’accabla de reproches, disant :
— Pourquoi, dès que tu m’as aperçu, as-tu éteint la lampe ?

Je répondis : — J’ai cru que le soleil s’était levé …

J’ai vu en songe celui dont la beauté 
illuminerait la nuit la plus obscure. 
À mon réveil, j’ai pensé :
« D’où me vient ce bonheur ? »

Si un fâcheux se place 
devant [ta]2 lampe, bondis et tue-le ! 
Mais si, au contraire, le nouveau 
venu a des lèvres de miel 
et un sourire aussi doux que le sucre, 
saisis-le par le bras et éteins la lampe.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 K. Sorabji: "levais"
2 K. Sorabji: "la"

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)

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

  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The lamp", written 1995, copyright © 1995, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Edward Rehatsek) , first published by the Kama Shastra Society, first published 1888


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

This text was added to the website: 2018-08-28
Line count: 15
Word count: 119

The lamp
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
One night, my friend came into my home. 
I got up with such a start that my lamp fell. 
My friend heaped reproaches on me, saying:
“Why, as soon as you saw me, did you put the lamp out?”

I replied: “I thought the sun had risen…”

I have seen in my dreams one whose beauty 
would light up the darkest night.  
On awakening, I have thought: 
“From where does this joy come?”

If some tiresome individual should place 
himself in the way of your lamp, 
leap up and strike him down.  
But if, on the other hand, the newcomer 
has honeyed lips and a smile as sweet as sugar, 
take him by the arm and put out the lamp.

Confirmed with an original Microsoft Word Document provided by Alistair Hinton. Line breaks have been added arbitrarily.


Authorship

Based onBased 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 ]


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

This text was added to the website: 2018-08-04
Line count: 15
Word count: 120