by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Translation © by Peter Low

Oh! quand je dors, viens auprès de ma...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): CHI CHI ENG ENG POR
Oh! quand je dors, viens auprès de ma couche, 
comme à Pétrarque apparaissait Laura,
Et qu'en passant ton haleine me touche... 
       Soudain ma bouche

Sur mon front morne où peut-être s'achève
Un songe noir qui trop longtemps dura,
Que ton regard comme un astre se lève...
       [Soudain]1 mon rêve

Puis sur ma lèvre où voltige une flamme,
Éclair d'amour que Dieu même épura,
Pose un baiser, et d'ange deviens femme...
       Soudain mon âme

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Liszt: "Et soudain"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Yen-Chiang Che) , "喔!當我沈睡", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Mei Foong Ang) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Oh! when I sleep", copyright ©
  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , "Oh while I sleep", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "O in my dreams"
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Margarida Moreno) , "Oh! Quando durmo", copyright © 2011, (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: 15
Word count: 76

Oh while I sleep
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Oh while I sleep, come and stand by my bed
as Laura came to Petrarch where he lay.
And let your breath hover over my head -
   My pain will settle    
        and drain away!

And on my brow   in the menacing darkness
where nightmares come and all too often stay
pour down your gaze like a shower of starlight -
    My heart will waken.   
        My dream will waken.1

Then place a kiss       both angelic and human
on my two lips where love again may stir to flame.
Yes, kiss me and turn from angel into woman -
  My soul will leap through
       from night into day!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 May be followed by "My dream will play! Ah!" for the repeat (Liszt)


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

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2008-12-03
Line count: 15
Word count: 106