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

Souvenir, souvenir, que me veux‑tu?...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG HUN
Souvenir, souvenir, que me veux-tu? L'automne
Faisait voler la grive à travers l'air atone,
Et le soleil dardait un rayon monotone
Sur le bois jaunissant où la bise détone.

Nous étions seul à seule et marchions en rêvant,
Elle et moi, les cheveux et la pensée au vent.
Soudain, tournant vers moi son regard émouvant :
"Quel fut ton plus beau jour?" fit sa voix d'or vivant,

Sa voix douce et sonore, au frais timbre angélique.
Un sourire discret lui donna la réplique,
Et je baisai sa main blanche, dévotement.

-- Ah! les premières fleurs, qu'elles sont parfumées !
Et qu'il bruit avec un murmure charmant
Le premier oui qui sort de lèvres bien-aimées !

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) , "Nevermore", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , "Nevermore", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POL Polish (Polski) (Bronisława Ostrowska) , "Never more", Kraków, J. Mortkowicz, first published 1911

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 114

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Memory, memory, what do you want of me?
Autumn had caused the thrush to fly through the listless air,
And the sun was shooting a monotonous ray
Upon the yellowing forest from which the North wind bursts.

We were alone, she and I, daydreaming as we walked along,
Our hair and our thoughts streaming in the wind.
Suddenly, as she turned to me her poignant gaze:
"What was your happiest day?" said her voice like gold come to life,

Her soft and sonorous voice, with its cool, angelic timbre.
A discreet smile gave her the answer,
And I kissed her pale hand, devoutly.

-- Ah! the first flowers, how sweet they smell!
And how charming the murmur of
The first yes that comes from beloved lips!


  • 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: 2007-04-25
Line count: 14
Word count: 125