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

The Rose of the Night
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The dark rose of thy mouth
Draw nigher, draw nigher!
Thy breath is the wind of the south,
A wind of fire,
The wind and the rose and darkness, 
O Rose of my Desire!

Deep silence of the night,
Husht like a breathless lyre,
Save the sea's thunderous might,
Dim, menacing, dire,
Silence and wind and sea, they are thee, 
O Rose of my Desire!

As a wind-eddying flame
Leaping higher and higher,
Thy soul, thy secret name,
Leaps thro' Death's blazing pyre,
Kiss me, Imperishable Fire, dark Rose, 
O Rose of my Desire!

Author's note: There is an old mystical legend that when a soul among the dead woos a soul among the living, so that both may be reborn as one, the sign is a dark rose, or a rose of flame, in the heart of the night.


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 Rose de la Nuit", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-08-18
Line count: 18
Word count: 94

La Rose de la Nuit
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
La rose sombre de ta bouche
Vient plus près, vient plus près !
Ton souffle est le vent du sud,
Un vent de feu,
Le vent et la rose et l'obscurité,
Ô Rose de mon Désir !

Le profond silence de la nuit,
Étouffée comme une lyre oppressée,
Excepté le pouvoir étourdissant de la mer,
Faible, menaçant, sinistre,
Silence et vent et mer, ils sont toi,
Ô Rose de mon Désir !

Comme une flamme tournoyant dans le vent
Sautant de plus en plus haut,
Ton âme, ton nom secret,
Saute à travers le bûcher ardent de la mort,
Embrasse-moi, Feu Impérissable, Rose sombre,
Ô Rose de mon Désir !


  • 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: 18
Word count: 110