by Jules Renard (1864 - 1910)
Translation © by Ahmed E. Ismail

Le paon
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN GER
Il va sûrement se marier aujourd'hui.

Ce devait être pour hier. 
En habit de gala, il était prêt.

Il n'attendait que sa fiancée. 
Elle n'est pas venue. 
Elle ne peut tarder.

Glorieux, il se promène 
avec une allure de prince indien 
et porte sur lui les riches présents d'usage.

L'amour avive l'éclat de ses couleurs 
et son aigrette tremble comme une lyre.

La fiancée n'arrive pas.

Il monte au haut du toit 
et regarde du côté du soleil.

Il jette son cri diabolique :

Léon ! Léon !

C'est ainsi qu'il appelle sa fiancée. 
Il ne voit rien venir et personne ne répond. 
Les volailles habituées 
ne lèvent même point la tête. 
Elles sont lasses de l'admirer. 
Il redescend dans la cour, 
si sûr d'être beau 
qu'il est incapable de rancune.

Son mariage sera pour demain.

Et, ne sachant que faire 
du reste de la journée, 
il se dirige vers le perron. 
Il gravit les marches, 
comme des marches de temple, 
d'un pas officiel.

Il relève sa robe 
à queue toute lourde des yeux 
qui n'ont pu se détacher d'elle.

Il répète encore une fois la cérémonie.

Authorship

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 (Ahmed E. Ismail) , "The peacock", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Riikinkukko", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Pfau", copyright © 2017, (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: 35
Word count: 187

The peacock
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
He surely will be getting married today. 

It should have been yesterday.
Dressed for a gala, he was ready.

He was only waiting for his fiancée.
She didn't come. 
She tarried. 

Magnificent, he strolled
with the allure of an Indian prince 
and brought the customary rich presents. 

Love kindled a burst of colors 
and his aigret quivered like a lyre. 

His fiancée does not arrive.

He climbs to the top of the roof 
and from its edge beholds the sun. 

He sounds his diabolical cry: 

"Leon! Leon!" 

Thus does he call his fiancée.
He sees nothing come, and no one answers. 
The birds, accustomed to this,
do not even raise their head. 
They are bored of admiring him.
He comes down and enters the courtyard, 
so sure of his own beauty 
that he is incapable of rancor. 

His wedding will be tomorrow. 

And, not knowing what to do 
for the rest of the day, 
he heads toward the porch. 
He climbs its stairs, 
like the stairs of the temple, 
with an officious tread. 

He picks up his tailed robe 
so heavy from eyes 
that cannot detach themselves. 

He repeats the ceremony one more time.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2005-08-24
Line count: 35
Word count: 194