by Jean Cocteau (1889 - 1963)
Translation © by Victoria de Menil

Souvenirs d'enfance
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Pendant la nuit une rose
avance sous feux éteints 
S'il arrivait quelque chose 
Elle attendra le matin

Les noix ta mère les dore
pour ton arbre de Noël
Souliers au bord de l'aurore
ils apprivoisent le ciel

Jadis l'enfance chérie
voyageait allumant 
des Liverpools de féerie
splendide à regarder

Une moustiquaire en tule
comme la neige on y meurt
Surtout si l'étoile brûle 
les ailes du ramoneur.


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 (Victoria de Menil) , "Childhood memories", copyright ©, (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: 67

Childhood memories
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 In the night a rose
 moves forward, all the lights off,
 If something happened
 It would wait until morning
 Your mother paints the nuts gold
 For your Christmas tree
 Shoes on the edge of dawn
 They tame the sky
 Before, the treasured childhood 
 Travelled lighting up
 Liverpools of fairies
 Splendid to look at
 A mosquito net
 Like snow, you die there,
 Especially if the star burns
 The wings of the chimney sweep.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Victoria de Menil, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 73