by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
Translation © by Laura (Pranada) Sylvis

Eau qui se presse, qui court ... eau...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Eau qui se presse, qui court ... eau oublieuse 
que la distraite terre boit, 
hésite un petit instant dans ma main creuse, 

Clair et rapide amour, indifférence, 
presque absence qui court, 
entre ton trop d'arrivée et ton trop de partance 
    tremble un peu de séjour.

About the headline (FAQ)


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 (Laura (Pranada) Sylvis) , "Rushing, running water", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Water that presses on", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:46
Line count: 8
Word count: 46

Rushing, running water
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Rushing, running water ... forgetful water
drunk up by the distracted earth,
hesitate a brief moment in my cupped hand,

Light and quick love, indifference,
almost-absence running away,
between the excess of your arrival and the excess of your departure
trembles a bit of sojourn.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2004 by Laura (Pranada) Sylvis, (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


Text added to the website: 2004-11-03 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:10
Line count: 8
Word count: 46