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

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER GER ITA SPA
Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé,
Deux formes ont tout à l'heure passé.

Leurs yeux sont morts et leurs lèvres sont molles,
Et l'on entend à peine leurs paroles.

Dans le vieux parc solitaire et glacé,
Deux spectres ont évoqué le passé.

— Te souvient-il de notre extase ancienne ?
— Pourquoi voulez-vous donc qu'il m'en souvienne ?

— Ton cœur bat-il toujours à mon seul nom ?
Toujours vois-tu mon âme en rêve ? — Non.

— Ah ! les beaux jours de bonheur indicible
Où nous joignions nos bouches ! — C'est possible.

— Qu'il était bleu, le ciel, et grand, l'espoir !
— L'espoir a fui, vaincu, vers le ciel noir.

Tels ils marchaient dans les avoines folles,
Et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Paul Verlaine, Fêtes galantes, Paris: Alphonse Lemerre, 1869, pages 49-51.

Note: The ampersands (&) as appear in the first publication are changed to "et".


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 German (Deutsch), a translation by G. von Festenberg ; composed by Rudolf Mengelberg.

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , "Sentimental dialogue", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Ernest Christopher Dowson) , no title, appears in Decorations, in After Paul Verlaine, no. 2
  • ENG English [singable] (Nita Cox) , "The colloquy"
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Pierre Mathé) , "Gefühlvolles Zwiegespräch", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Wehmütige Zwiesprache", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Colloquio sentimentale", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Benjamin Oblitas Mollinedo) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 129

Sentimental dialogue
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 In the old park's desolation and frost
 the paths of two ghostly figures have crossed.
 Their eyes are dead and their lips slack and gray
 and one can scarcely hear the words they say.
 In the old park's desolation and frost
 two spectres have been evoking the past.
 - "Do you recall our bliss of that September?"
 - "Why ever should you wish me to remember?"
 - "Now when you hear my name does your heart-rate grow?
 Do you still see me in your dreams?"
          - "No."
 - Ah, the enchantment of loving so dearly,
 those kisses that we shared!"
            - "Did we really?"
 Skies were so blue and hopes so high, so proud!
Defeated hope has fled in a sombre cloud.
 Thus did they walk in the wild grass swaying.
Only the night heard the words they were saying. 


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 143