Translation © by Amy Pfrimmer

Le vase où meurt cette vervaine
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Le vase où meurt cette vervaine
D'un coup d'éventail fut fêlé;
Le coup dut l'effleurer à peine,
Aucun bruit ne l'a révélé.

Mais la légère meurtrissure,
Mordant le cristal chaque jour,
D'une marche invisible et sûre
En a fait lentement le tour.

Son eau fraîche a fui goutte à goutte,
Le suc des fleurs s'est épuisé;
Personne encore ne s'en doute,
N'y touchez pas, il est brisé.

Souvent aussi la main qu'on aime
Effleurant le coeur, le meurtrit;
Puis le coeur se fend de lui-même,
La fleur de son amour périt;

Toujours intact aux yeux du monde,
Il sent croître et pleurer tout bas
Sa blessure fine et profonde:
Il est brisé, n'y touchez pas.

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:

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Karel Čapek) , "Puklá váza"
  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Karel Čapek) , "Puklá váza"
  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , "The broken vase", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Amy Pfrimmer) , "The broken vase", copyright © 2019, (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: 20
Word count: 115

The broken vase
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The vase where this verbena is dying 
was suddenly cracked by a graze from a fan. 
The glance must have barely brushed it 
for no noise was heard. 

But the slight wound 
biting into the crystal day by day 
crept invisibly and surely 
made a crack slowly all the way around. 

Its fresh water leaked drip by drip 
and the juice of the flowers ran out; 
Yet no one suspected anything. 
Do not touch it, it is broken; 

Often the hand we love 
touches the heart and injures it; 
Then the heart breaks itself, 
the flower of its love perishes. 

Still intact in the eyes of the world, 
the crack can grow while the heart quietly cries 
from the wound fine and profoundly deep. 
It is broken; Do not touch it.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2019 by Amy Pfrimmer, (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: 2019-07-04
Line count: 20
Word count: 131