by Ernest-Wilfrid Legouvé (1807 - 1903)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

La mort d'Ophélie
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA SPA
[Au bord]1 d'un torrent, Ophélie
Cueillait tout en suivant le bord,
Dans sa douce et tendre folie,
Des pervenches, des boutons d'or,
Des iris aux couleurs d'opale,
Et de ces fleurs d'un rose pâle,
Qu'on appelle des doigts de mort.

Puis élevant sur ses mains blanches
Les riants trésors du matin,
Elle les suspendait aux branches,
Aux branches d'un saule voisin;
Mais, trop faible, le rameau plie,
Se brise, et la pauvre Ophélie
Tombe, sa guirlande à la main.

Quelques instants, sa robe enflée
La tint encor sur le courant, 
Et comme une voile gonflée,
Elle flottait toujours, chantant, 
Chantant quelque vieille ballade,
Chantant ainsi qu'une naïade 
Née au milieu de ce torrent.

Mais cette étrange mélodie
Passa rapide comme un son;
Par les flots la robe alourdie
Bientôt dans l'abîme profond;
Entraïna la pauvre insensée,
Laissant à peine commencée
Sa mélodieuse chanson.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Berlioz: "Auprès"

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 (Emily Ezust) , "The death of Ophelia", copyright © 2019
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Emma Klingenfeld) , "Der Tod der Ophelia"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "La morte di Ofelia", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Pablo Sabat) , "La muerte de Ofelia", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-13
Line count: 28
Word count: 143

The death of Ophelia
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Beside a stream, Ophelia,
Following along the bank, gathered,
In her soft and gentle lunacy,
Periwinkles, buttercups,
Irises the colour of opal,
And those pale, rose-coloured flowers 
They call Dead Men's Fingers.

Then, lifting in her white hands
The happy treasure of the morning,
She hung them from the branches,
From the branches of a nearby weeping willow;
But too weak, the branch bends,
[Then] breaks, and poor Ophelia
Falls, her garland in her hand.

For a while, her swollen dress
Bore her on the current,
And like a full sail,
She kept floating, singing,
Singing some ancient ballad,
Singing like a water-sprite
Born in this stream's domain.

But this strange song
Faded, as rapidly as a sound,
For the waves soon made her dress heavy
And down into the depths
Dragged the poor senseless girl,
Leaving her melodious song
Hardly yet begun.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


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This text was added to the website: 2019-11-20
Line count: 28
Word count: 143