by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Corinne Orde

Le son du cor s'afflige vers les bois
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Le son du cor s'afflige vers les bois,
D'une douleur on veut croire orpheline
Qui vient mourir au bas de la colline,
Parmi la [bise]1 errant en courts abois.

L'âme du loup pleure dans cette voix,
Qui monte avec le soleil, qui décline
D'une agonie on veut croire câline,
Et qui ravit et qui navre à la fois.

Pour faire mieux cette plainte assoupie,
La neige tombe à longs traits de charpie
A travers le couchant sanguinolent,

Et l'air a l'air d'être un soupir d'automne,
Tant il fait doux par ce soir monotone,
Où se dorlote un paysage lent.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 sometimes "brise" (breeze)


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):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sonet"
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "The sound of the horn is wailing near the woods", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Corinne Orde) , "The sound of the horn", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) ( Wolf von Kalckreuth, Graf)

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: 99

The sound of the horn
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The horn sounds its distress call over by the woods
With a cry of grief like that of an orphan
And comes to die at the foot of the hill
Where the roaming north wind wails in brief outbursts.
The soul of the wolf is weeping in that voice
Which rises with the sun that sinks
With an agony that seems somehow soothing
And at once delights and distresses.
To enhance this drowsy lament
The snow is falling as long shreds of linen
Across the blood-red sunset,

And the air has the air of an autumn sigh,
So mild is this monotonous evening
In which a slow landscape coddles itself.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2008 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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2008-01-21
Line count: 14
Word count: 110