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

I hear an army charging upon the land
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
I hear an army charging upon the land,
  And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,
  Disdaining the reins, with flutt'ring whips, the charioteers.

They cry unto the night their battlename:
  I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.
They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,
  Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.

They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:
  They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
  My love, my love, why have you left me alone?

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):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Harald Genzmer.

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
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter Riemer) , copyright © 2016, (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: 109

J'entends une armée charger sur la terre
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
J'entends une armée charger sur la terre,
Et le tonnerre de chevaux qui plongent, de l'écume à leurs genoux :
Arrogants, en armure noire, derrière eux se tiennent
Dédaignant les rênes, avec des fouets au vent, les conducteurs de chars.

Ils crient dans la nuit leurs noms de bataille :
Je gémis dans le sommeil quand j'entends au loin leur rire tourbillonner.
Ils fendent l'obscurité des rêves, d'une flamme aveuglante,
Martelant, martelant le cœur comme une enclume.

Ils arrivent secouant en triomphe leurs longues chevelures vertes :
Ils sortent de la mer et courent en criant sur la plage.
Mon cœur, n'as-tu pas de sagesse à désespérer ainsi ?
Mon amour, mon amour, pourquoi m'as-tu laissé seul ?

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: 118