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by Darius Milhaud (1892 - 1974)
Translation © by John Glenn Paton

Chant de la pitié
Language: French (Français)  after the Hebrew (עברית) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Dans les champs de Bethléem, une pierre
se dresse solitaire, antique tombe. 
Mais dès que minuit sonne, on voit
une Beauté quitter sa demeure souterraine 
pour venir sur la terre. 
Là voilà qui chemine silencieuse
vers le Jourdain. Là voilà qui silencieusement 
contemple les ondes sacrées. 
Une larme tombe alors de son oeil pur 
dans les ondes paisibles du fleuve. 
Et doucement les larmes s'écoulent
 l'une après l'autre, tombent dans le Jourdain, 
emportées entrainées 
par le mystère des eaux.


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 (John Glenn Paton) , "Song of Pity", copyright ©, (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: 79

Song of Pity
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
In the fields of Bethlehem a stone
stands upright, solitary: an ancient tomb.
But as soon as midnight sounds, one sees 
a beauty leave her underground dwelling
to come up onto the earth.
Behold her as she makes her way silently
toward the Jordan. See her silently
contemplate the sacred currents.
A tear falls then from her pure eye
into the peaceful currents of the river.
And gently the tears run
one after another, fall into the Jordan,
carried away, drawn away
by the mystery of the waters.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by John Glenn Paton, (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:

Based on:


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 88