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Sentiers où l'herbe se balance, Vallons, côteaux, bois chevelus, Pourquoi ce deuil et ce silence? "Celui qui venait ne vient plus!" Pourquoi personne à ta fenêtre? Et pourquoi ton jardin sans fleurs? Ô maison où donc est ton maître? "Je ne sais pas! il est ailleurs." Chien, veille au logis! "Pourquoi faire? La maison est vide à présent!" Enfant, qui pleures-tu? "Mon père!" Femme, qui pleures-tu? "L'absent!" Où donc est-il allé? "Dans l'ombre!" Flots qui gémissez sur l'écueil, D'où venez-vous? "Du bagne sombre!" Et qu'apportez-vous? "Un cerceuil!"
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885), no title, written 1853, appears in Les Châtiments, in 3. La famille est restaurée, no. 11, first published 1853 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924), "L'absent", op. 5 no. 3 (1871), published 1879. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Daniël de Lange (1841 - 1918), "Châtiments" [high voice and piano] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Peter Low) , "The absent one", 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: 16
Word count: 87
- You paths of swaying grass, valleys, hills and leafy woods, why are you grieving and silent? - The man who came no longer comes. - House, why is no one at your window? And why has your garden no flowers? Say, where is your master? - I don't know, somewhere else. - Dog, guard the dwelling! - What's the point? The building is empty now. - For whom are you weeping, child? - For my father. - And you, woman? - For the absent one. - Where has he gone? - Into the shadow. - And you, waves groaning on the rocks, where have you come from? - The dark penal colony. - And what are you carrying? - A coffin!
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Peter Low, (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.
- a text in French (Français) by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885), no title, written 1853, appears in Les Châtiments, in 3. La famille est restaurée, no. 11, first published 1853
This text was added to the website: 2007-11-07
Line count: 16
Word count: 122