by Armand Silvestre (1837 - 1901)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

À celle qui part
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Lorsque la mer et Toi vous serez face à face,
Abîmes toutes deux, toutes deux sans remords,
Le flot où tout se perd, ton coeur où tout s'efface,
En se parlant tout bas, compteront-ils leurs morts?

Toi, la beauté qui luit, elle, la mer qui rêve,
Terrestres in finis sous l'infini des cieux,
Quand vous vous toucherez, montera de la grève,
Des oublis révoltés l'hymne silencieux

Entendras-tu mon coeur dans cette voix immense 
Que, sur la vague en pleurs, les vents emporteront,
Toi par qui mon tourment sans cesse recommence,
Qui d'un exil sans fin m'as mesuré l'affront?

Ah! que la mort me prenne et que mon coeur se fasse 
Flot vivant, pour venir à tes pieds se briser,
Lorsque la mer et Toi, vous serez face à face,
La nuit mêlant vos fronts sous un même baiser!


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 (Faith J. Cormier) , "To the one who is leaving", copyright © 2004, (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: 16
Word count: 138

To the one who is leaving
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
When Thou and the sea are face to face,
abysses, both of you, remorseless, 
the waves where everything is lost, your heart where everything is blotted out, 
will you whisper together, counting your dead?

Thou, the beauty that shines, with the dreaming sea, 
earthly infinities under the infinity of heaven, 
when you touch will the silent hymn 
of the rebellious forgotten ones rise from the strand?

Wilt Thou hear my heart in that immense voice 
brought to Thee by the weeping waves and the wind,
Thou, author of my torment ever-new, 
who hast meted out the insult of an endless exile? 

Would that death should take me and my heart become 
a living sea to come break at Thy feet, 
when Thou and the sea are face to face, 
the night mingling your brows under one kiss alone!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2004 by Faith J. Cormier, (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: 2004-10-01
Line count: 16
Word count: 138