Translation © by Emily Ezust

Sur l'eau
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG SPA
Je n'entends que le bruit de la rive et de l'eau,
Le chagrin résigné d'une source qui pleure
Ou d'un rocher qui verse une larme par heure,
[Et]1 le vague frisson des feuilles de bouleau.

Je ne sens pas le fleuve entraîner le bateau,
Mais c'est le bord fleuri qui passe, et je demeure ;
Et dans le flot profond, que de mes yeux j'effleure,
Le ciel bleu renversé tremble comme un rideau.

On dirait que cette onde en sommeillant serpente,
Oscille, et ne sait plus le côté de la pente :
Une fleur qu'on y pose hésite à le choisir.

Et, comme cette fleur, tout ce que l'homme envie
Peut se venir poser sur le flot de ma vie,
Sans désormais m'apprendre où penche mon désir.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hahn: "Ou"

Authorship

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) , "On the water", copyright © 2017
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , "En el agua", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 127

On the water
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I don't hear anything but the sound of the shore and the water,
The resigned sadness of a spring that weeps
Or a rock that sheds one tear each hour,
[Or]1 the indistinct shivering of the leaves of the birch.

I do not sense the river carrying the boat,
But it is the blossoming shore that goes past, while I remain;
And in the watery depths that I graze with my eyes,
The reflected blue sky trembles like a curtain.

One might say that the waters meander in their sleep,
Vacillating, and no longer know the bank from the slope:
Even a flower that one throws in hesitates to choose.

And, like this flower, everything that man desires
Could be placed along the river of my life
Without teaching me which way my own desire lies.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 in Hahn's version: "And"

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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.


Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2017-01-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 136