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

L'espoir luit comme un brin de paille...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
L'espoir luit comme un brin de paille dans l'étable.
Que crains-tu de la guêpe ivre de son vol fou ?
Vois, le soleil toujours poudroie à quelque trou.
Que ne t'endormais-tu, le coude sur la table?

Pauvre âme pâle, au moins cette eau du puits glacé,
Bois-la. Puis dors après. Allons, tu vois, je reste,
Et je dorloterai les rêves de ta sieste,
Et tu chantonneras comme un enfant bercé.

Midi sonne. De grâce, éloignez-vous, madame.
Il dort. C'est étonnant comme les pas de femme
Résonnent au cerveau des pauvres malheureux.

Midi sonne. J'ai fait arroser dans la chambre.
Va, dors! L'espoir luit comme un caillou dans un creux.
Ah ! quand refleuriront les roses de septembre !

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):

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , copyright © 2022, (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: 14
Word count: 118

Hope shines like a blade of straw in the...
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Hope shines like a blade of straw in the stable.
What do you fear from the wasp drunk on its crazy flight?
Look, hazy sunlight always enters through some hole.
Why did you not sleep with your elbow on the table?
Poor pale soul, at least drink this water from the icy well,
drink it. Then sleep afterwards. As you can see, I'm staying,
and I will pamper the dreams of your siesta,
and you will murmur like a child rocked in a cradle.
Midday strikes. Please go away, Madame.
He's asleep. It's surprising how a woman's footsteps
resonate in the brains of unfortunate paupers.
Midday strikes. I've had water sprinkled in the bedroom.
Yes, sleep!  Hope shines like a pebble in a hollow.
Oh, when will September's roses bloom again!

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2022 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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2022-04-22
Line count: 14
Word count: 131