by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Peter Low

Je suis venu, calme orphelin
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Gaspard Hauser chante :

Je suis venu, calme orphelin,
Riche de mes seuls yeux tranquilles,
Vers les hommes des grandes villes :
Ils ne m'ont pas trouvé malin.

À vingt ans un trouble nouveau,
Sous le nom d'amoureuses flammes
M'a fait trouver belles les femmes :
Elles ne m'ont pas trouvé beau.

Bien que sans patrie et sans roi
Et très brave ne l'étant guère,
J'ai voulu mourir à la guerre :
La mort n'a pas voulu de moi.

Suis-je né trop tôt ou trop tard ?
Qu'est-ce que je fais en ce monde ?
Ô vous tous, ma peine est profonde :
Priez pour le pauvre Gaspard !

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):

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  • ENG English (Peter Low) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-06-08
Line count: 17
Word count: 110

I came, a calm orphan
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
   Gaspar Hauser sings:
I came, a calm orphan,
with no wealth but my peaceful eyes,
among the men of the cities:
they did not find me clever.
At age twenty a new turmoil
- it is known as amorous flames -
made me find women beautiful:
they did not find me handsome.
Though lacking a homeland or king
and not being very brave,
I wanted to go to war and die:
death didn't want me.
Was I born too early or too late?
What am I doing in this world?
Listen, all of you, I am in deep sorrow:
say a prayer for poor Gaspard.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2021 by Peter Low, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2021-03-11
Line count: 17
Word count: 106