by Jean Richepin (1849 - 1926)
Translation © by Corinne Orde

Le bateau noir
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ITA
Je veux prendre un bateau sans boussole,
Sans rames, sans agrès et sans voiles,
Pour aller, sous un ciel sans étoiles,
Chevaucher au hasard la mer folle.

Ô vapeur, bous et hurle avec rage!
Tourne, tourne, âpre vis de l'hélice!
Sifflet, crie avec joie et délice,
Comme un pétrel repu dans l'orage.

Au branle étourdissant des marées,
Mouillé par les embruns et la pluie,
Les yeux pleurant de sel et de suie,
Dans les glaces du Nord démarées,

Dans les puits des malströms qui tournoient,
Dans les rocs des écueils aux dents noires,
Près des requins ouvrant leurs mâchoires,
Tombeaux vivants des morts qui se noient,

Crevant de faim, de soif et de fièvres,
J'irai je ne sais où, seul, farouche,
Et peut-être qu'alors sur ma bouche
Je n'aurai plus le goût de tes lèvres.

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 (Corinne Orde) , "The black boat", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Francesco Campanella) , "La barca nera", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Corinne Orde

This text was added to the website: 2007-11-23
Line count: 20
Word count: 135

The black boat
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I want to take a boat without a compass,
Without oars, without rigging and without sails,
To go, beneath a starless sky,
At random through the crazy sea.

O vapour, boil and scream with rage!
Turn, turn, bitter propeller!
Ship's whistle, cry out with joy and delight,
Like a sated petrel in the storm.

To the deafening swell of the tides,
Wettened by the spray and the rain,
Eyes weeping from the salt and soot,
In the unleashed ice floes of the North,

In the pits of swirling maelstroms,
On the rocks of black-toothed reefs,
Near sharks opening their jaws,
Living tombs of the drowning dead,

Dying of hunger, thirst and fever,
I shall go I know not where, alone and wild,
And then perhaps on my mouth
I shall no longer have the taste of your lips.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Corinne Orde, (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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This text was added to the website: 2007-11-23
Line count: 20
Word count: 138