by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Translation © by Barbara Miller

La tombe dit à la rose
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
La tombe dit à la rose :
-- Des pleurs dont l'aube t'arrose
Que fais-tu, fleur des amours ?
La rose dit à la tombe :
-- Que fais-tu de ce qui tombe
Dans ton gouffre ouvert toujours ?

La rose dit: -- Tombeau sombre,
De ces pleurs je fais dans l'ombre
Un parfum d'ambre et de miel.
La tombe dit: -- Fleur plaintive,
De chaque âme qui m'arrive
Je fais un ange du ciel.

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):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Theobald Rehbaum (1835 - 1918) ; composed by Franz Liszt.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Heinrich Proch.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Hrob a růže", Prague, first published 1877
  • ENG English (Barbara Miller) , "The tomb and the rose", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "La tomba e la rosa", copyright © 2011, (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: 12
Word count: 71

The tomb and the rose
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The tomb says to the rose:
From the tears with which the dawn sprinkles you
What do you make, flower of love?
The rose says to the tomb:
What do you do with that which falls
In your ever-open abyss?

The rose says: somber tomb,
From these tears I make in the shadow
A perfume of amber and of honey.
The tomb says: plaintive flower,
Of each soul that arrives in me
I make an angel of heaven.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 by Barbara Miller, (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: 2005-11-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 78