by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
Translation by Ernest Dowson (1867 - 1900)

Le ciel est, par‑dessus le toit
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): CHI ENG ITA SPA
Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit,
  Si bleu, si calme !
Un arbre, par-dessus le toit,
  Berce sa palme.

La cloche, dans le ciel qu'on voit,
  Doucement tinte.
Un oiseau sur l'arbre qu'on voit
  Chante sa plainte.

Mon Dieu, mon Dieu, la vie est là
  Simple et tranquille.
Cette paisible rumeur-là
  Vient de la ville.

Qu'as-tu fait, ô toi que voilà
  Pleurant sans cesse,
Dis, qu'as-tu fait, toi que voilà,
  De ta jeunesse ?

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

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:

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

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Yen-Chiang Che) , "監禁", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Píseň"
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright © 2016
  • ENG English (Ernest Dowson) , no title, appears in Decorations, in After Paul Verlaine, no. 4
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Il cielo, lassù oltre il tetto", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , "Desde la prisión", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-04-28 15:40:36
Line count: 16
Word count: 74

The sky is up above the roof
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The sky is up above the roof
So blue, so soft!
A tree there, up above the roof,
Swayeth aloft.

A bell within that sky we see,
Chimes low and faint:
A bird upon that tree we see,
Maketh complaint.

Dear God! is not the life up there,
Simple and sweet?
How peacefully are borne up there
Sounds of the street!

What hast thou done, who comest
To weep alway?
Where hast thou laid, who comest here,
Thy youth away?

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2010-04-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:39
Line count: 16
Word count: 80