by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation © by Garrett Medlock

Les coquillages
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Chaque coquillage incrusté
Dans la grotte où nous nous aimâmes
A sa particularité,

L'un a la pourpre de nos âmes
Dérobée au sang de nos coeurs
Quand je brûle et que tu t'enflammes;

Cet autre affecte tes langueurs
Et tes pâleurs alors que, lasse,
Tu m'en veux de mes yeux moqueurs;

Celui-ci contrefait la grâce
De ton oreille, et celui-là
Ta nuque rose, courte et grasse;

Mais un, entre autres, me troubla.


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) , "Škeble"
  • ENG English (Garrett Medlock) , "The seashells", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-09-12
Line count: 13
Word count: 72

The seashells
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Each encrusted seashell
In the cave where we loved one another
Has its defining characteristic,

One, the purple of our souls
Stolen from the blood of our hearts
When I burn and so that you ignite;

This other one affects your languor
And your pallor so that, weary,
You became annoyed by my mocking eyes;

This one mimics the grace
Of your ear, and that one
Your pink neck, short and full;

But one among the others troubled me.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2020 by Garrett Medlock, (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: 2020-04-28
Line count: 13
Word count: 79