by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Word over all, beautiful as the sky!
Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage,/
   must in time be utterly lost;
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, /
   incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil'd world:
...For my enemy is dead -- a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin -- I draw near;
[I bend]1 down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Rorem: "Bend down"


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) (Guy Laffaille) , "Réconciliation", copyright © 2018, (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: 8
Word count: 83

Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Mot sur tout, beau comme le ciel,
Si beau que la guerre et tous ses actes de carnage/
  doivent dans le temps être complètement perdus,
Que les mains des sœurs Mort et Nuit /
  incessamment et doucement se lavent, et toujours encore, ce monde terreux ;
Car mon ennemi est mort, un homme divin comme moi-même est mort,
Je regarde où il gît le visage pâle et encore dans le cercueil -- je m'approche,
M'incline et touche légèrement avec mes lèvres le visage blanc dans le cercueil.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2018 by Guy Laffaille, (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: 2018-12-16
Line count: 8
Word count: 86