by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Laura L. Nagle

J'allais par les chemins perfides
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
J'allais par les chemins perfides,
Douloureusement incertain.
Vos chères mains furent mes guides.

Si pâle à l'horizon lointain
Luisait un faible espoir d'aurore ;
Votre regard fut le matin.

Nul bruit, sinon son pas sonore,
N'encourageait le voyageur.
Votre voix me dit: "Marche encore!"

Mon coeur craintif, mon sombre coeur
Pleurait, seul, sur la triste voie ;
L'amour, délicieux vainqueur,
Nous a réunis dans la joie.

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 L. Nagle) , "I was walking along treacherous paths", copyright © 2007, (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: 13
Word count: 66

I was walking along treacherous paths
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I was walking along treacherous paths,
Painfully uncertain.
Your dear hands were my guides.

So pale on the distant horizon
Shone a faint hope of dawn;
Your eyes were the morning.

No sound other than his ringing footstep
Encouraged the voyager.
Your voice said to me: "Walk on!"

My timid heart, my somber heart,
Cried, alone, on the dreary road;
Love, delightful conqueror,
United us in joy.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Laura L. Nagle, (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: 2007-01-29
Line count: 13
Word count: 67