by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936)
Translation © by Patricia Dillard Eguchi

Is my team ploughing
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE HEB
"Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?"

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

"Is football playing
Along the river-shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?"

Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal. 

"Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?"

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

"Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?"

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.

R. Vaughan Williams sets stanzas 1-2, 5-8

About the headline (FAQ)


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) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , "Mon attelage laboure-t-il ?", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "האם הצמד שלי חורש", copyright © 2014, (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: 32
Word count: 168

Mon attelage laboure‑t‑il ?
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Mon attelage laboure t-il,
Que j’avais l’habitude de mener,
Entendant les grelots des harnais,
Alors que j’étais vivant ?

Oui, les chevaux piétinent,
Les grelots des harnais tintent, 
Rien n’a changé bien que tu reposes,
Sous la terre que tu labourais.

Joue-t-on au football,
Le long de la rivière, 
Avec des gars pour pousser le ballon,
Alors que je ne suis plus là ?

Oui, le ballon vole,
Les gars jouent de tout leur cœur,
Le but est dressé, son gardien
Debout pour le garder.

Ma bien-aimée est-elle heureuse,
Qu’il m’était si dur de quitter, 
Et s’est-elle lassée de pleurer,
Quand elle s’allonge la nuit ?

Oui, elle s’allonge sans souci,
Elle ne se repose pas pour pleurer,
Ta bien-aimée est contente,
Sois tranquille, mon gars, et dors.

Et mon meilleur ami est-il joyeux,
Maintenant que je suis maigre et que je me languis,
Et a t-il trouvé pour y dormir,
Un meilleur lit que le mien ?

Oui mon gars, je m’y repose heureux,
Je m’y repose comme tous le voudraient ;
Je réconforte la bien-aimée d’un mort,
Ne me demande pas de qui.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2018 by Patricia Dillard Eguchi, (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: 2018-08-21
Line count: 32
Word count: 185