by François Coppée (1842 - 1908)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Depuis un [mois]1, chère exilée,
Loin de mes yeux tu t'en allas,
Et j'ai vu fleurir des lilas
Avec ma peine inconsolée.

Seul, je fuis ce ciel clair et beau
Dont l'ardent effluve me trouble,
Car l'horreur de l'exil se double
De la splendeur du renouveau.

En vain j'entends contre les vitres,
Dans la chambre où je m'enfermai,
Les premiers insectes de Mai
Heurter leurs maladroits élytres ;

En vain le soleil a souri,
Au printemps je ferme ma porte,
Et veux seulement qu'on m'apporte
Un rameau de lilas fleuri;

Car l'amour dont mon âme est pleine
[Retrouve, parmi]2 ses douleurs
Ton regard dans ces chères fleurs
Et dans leur parfum ton haleine.

R. Hahn sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5
L. Maingueneau sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Maingueneau: "deux"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Hahn: "Y trouve parmi"


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 (Emily Ezust) , "May", copyright ©

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 113

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
It has been one month, sweet exiled one,
Since you left my sight,
And I have seen the lilacs bloom
With inconsolable grief.

Alone, I shun fresh air,
Whose ardent fragrance disquiets me,
For the horror of an exile doubles
At seeing the luster of nature's renewal.

In vain I listen at the windows,
In the room in which I have shut myself up,
As the first beetles of May
Collide against them with their clumsy shells.

In vain does the sun smile,
For I close my door against the spring,
And wish only that someone would bring me
A branch of blossoming lilac;

For Love, of which my heart is full,
in the middle of its grief, finds
Your gaze among these precious flowers,
And in their scent, your breath!


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2014-09-29
Line count: 20
Word count: 131