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

Thou leanest to the shell of night
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Thou leanest to the shell of night,
    Dear lady, a divining ear. 
In that soft choiring of delight
    What sound hath made thy heart to fear? 
Seemed it of rivers rushing forth
From the grey deserts of the north?

    That mood of thine, O timorous
Is his, if thou but scan it well,
    Who a mad tale bequeaths to us 
At ghosting hour conjurable --
    And all for some strange name he read 
   In Purchas or in Holinshed.

About the headline (FAQ)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-12-02
Line count: 12
Word count: 77

Tu appuies au coquillage de la nuit
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Tu appuies au coquillage de la nuit,
Chère dame, une oreille d'oracle.
Dans ce doux chœur de délices
Quel son a rempli de crainte ton cœur ?
Ressemblait-il à des rivières se précipitant
Depuis les gris déserts du nord ?

Cette humeur à toi, ô timorée,
Vient de celui, si seulement tu la scrutes bien,
Qui nous transmet un conte de folie
Qui peut être évoquer à l'heure des spectres --
Et tout cela pour d'étranges noms qu'il lit
Dans Purchas ou Holinshed.

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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2009-11-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 82