by William Sharp (1855 - 1905), as Fiona Macleod
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

The Lament of Ian the Proud
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
What is this crying that I hear in the wind?
Is it the old sorrow and the old grief? 
Or is it a new thing coming, a whirling leaf
About the gray hair of me who am weary and blind?
I know not what it is, but on the moor above the shore
There is a stone which the purple nets of heather bind,
And thereon is writ: She will return no more.
O blown, whirling leaf, and the old grief,
And wind crying to me who am old and blind!


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 1: "La complainte de Ian le fier", copyright © 2010, (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: 9
Word count: 91

La complainte de Ian le fier
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Quel est ce cri que j'entends dans le vent ?
Est-ce l'ancien chagrin et l'ancienne peine ?
Ou est-ce une nouvelle chose qui arrive, une feuille tourbillonnant
Autour des cheveux gris de moi qui suis las et aveugle ?
Je ne sais pas ce que c'est, mais sur la lande au-dessus du rivage
Il y a une pierre que les filets pourpre de la bruyère entourent,
Et dessus il est écrit : Elle ne reviendra plus.
Ô feuille soufflée, tourbillonnante, et l'ancienne peine,
Et le vent qui crie pour m'appeler  moi qui suis vieux et aveugle !


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2010 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: 2010-04-02
Line count: 9
Word count: 97