by Jean Richepin (1849 - 1926)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Le Hun
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Vole, ô cavale folle!
Franc, ou Goth, ou Germain,
Ou Gaulois, ou Romain,
Partout sur mon chemin,
Devant ta course folle,
Le vieux monde croula
Comme un brouillard s'envole.
Attila! Attila!

Je plonge dans l'espace,
A travers monts et vaux,
Vers les pays nouveaux
Des guerriers sans chevaux.
Je me soûle d'espace
Sans crier halte-là,
Comme un oiseau qui passe.
Attila! Attila!

Dans mon galop superbe
Je passe, et quand je pars
On voit de toutes parts
Des cadavres épars.
C'est mon sabre superbe
Qui les éparpilla
Comme un fléau la gerbe.
Attila! Attila!


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 Russian (Русский), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by César Antonovich Cui.

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

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The hun", 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: 24
Word count: 94

The hun
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Fly, oh wild steed!
Frank, or Goth, or German,
Or Gaul, or Roman,
Fall back from my course,
Before my wild steed,
The old world crumbles
Like a mist vanishes.
Attila! Attila!

I plunge through space,
Across mountains and valleys,
Toward new lands
Of warriors without horses.
I drink in the open spaces
Empty of human voices,
Like a passing bird.
Attila! Attila!

At a splendid gallop
I pass, and when I depart
One sees everywhere
Scattered corpses.
It’s my superb saber
That scattered them
Like a flail scattering sheaves of grain.
Attila! Attila!

Translator's note: a flail is a two-handed tool used to thresh grain; it consists of a longer stick attached to a shorter stick by a chain or leather strap.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2018 by Laura Prichard, (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: 2018-12-19
Line count: 24
Word count: 94