by James Joyce (1882 - 1941)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Strings in the earth and air
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Strings in the earth and air 
  Make music sweet; 
Strings by the river where 
  The willows meet. 

There's music along the river 
  [For Love wanders there,]1
Pale [flowers]1 on his mantle, 
  Dark leaves on his hair. 

All softly playing, 
  With head to [the]3 music bent, 
And fingers straying 
  Upon an instrument.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 not set by Berio.
2 Coulthard: "flow'rs"
3 omitted by Coulthard


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

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (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: 12
Word count: 51

Des cordes dans la terre et l'air
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Des cordes dans la terre et l'air
Font de la musique douce ;
Des cordes près de la rivière où
Les saules se rencontrent.

Il y a de la musique le long de la rivière
Car Amour se promène là,
Des fleurs pâles sur sa cape,
Des feuilles sombres sur ses cheveux.

Tout doucement jouant,
Avec la tête penchée vers la musique,
Et les doigts vagabondant
Sur un instrument.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2009-11-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 69