by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Ahmed E. Ismail

Ô Mort, vieux capitaine, il est temps!...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG ITA
Ô Mort, vieux capitaine, il est temps! levons l'ancre! 
[Ce]1 pays nous ennuie, ô Mort! Appareillons! 
Si le ciel et la mer sont noirs comme de l'encre, 
Nos coeurs que tu connais sont remplis de rayons! 

Verse-nous ton poison pour qu'il nous réconforte! 
Nous voulons, tant ce feu qui nous brûle le cerveau, 
Plonger au fond du gouffre. Enfer ou Ciel, qu'importe? 
Au fond de l'Inconnu pour trouver du nouveau!

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1 Gretchaninov: "Le"


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 Ernst Ludwig Schellenberg (1883 - 1964) ; composed by Erich J. Wolff.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Aleksandr Tikhonovich Gretchaninov.

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 70

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
O Death, old captain, it's time! Raise the anchor!
This land bores us, o death! Let us set sail!
If the sky and the sea are black as ink,
Our hearts which you know are filled with rays (of light)!

Spill on us your poison so that it may comfort us!
We want, as much as this fire burns our brain,
To dive to the depths of the abyss. Hell or Heaven, does it matter?
To the depths of the unknown, to find something new!

Note: Literal translation.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2004 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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: 2004-06-06
Line count: 8
Word count: 85