by Maurice Bouchor (1855 - 1929)
Translation © by Korin Kormick

Quel son lamentable et sauvage
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Quel son lamentable et sauvage
Va sonner l'heure de l'adieu!
La mer roule sur le rivage,
Moqueuse, et se souciant peu 
Que ce soit l'heure de l'adieu.

Des oiseaux passent, l'aile ouverte,
Sur l'abîme presque joyeux ;
[Le soleil dore la mer verte]1, --
Et je saigne, silencieux, 
En regardant briller les cieux.

Je me sens déjà seul et vide,
Comme un esquif abandonné
Flottant sur un fleuve livide,
Qui traverserait, entraîné,
Plus d'un grand pays étonné.

Je vois que le moment s'approche ;
Et j'admire que le destin,
Insensible comme la roche,
Au ciel, gris et bleu, de satin
Fasse fleurir un tel matin.

E. Chausson sets stanzas 1-2

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Chausson: "Au grand soleil la mer est verte"


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

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The text above (or a part of it) is used in the following settings:

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

  • ENG English (Korin Kormick) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-02-01
Line count: 20
Word count: 104

What pitiful and wild sound
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
What pitiful and wild sound
Will toll the hour of goodbye!
The sea rolls on the shore
Mockingly, and caring little
That now is the hour of goodbye.

Birds pass by, with open wing,
On the nearly-joyous abyss;
In the great sunshine the sea is green,
And I bleed silently
Watching the sky sparkle.

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: this is a translation of the setting by Chausson. Title: "The flower of the waters"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2011 by Korin Kormick, (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.

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This text was added to the website: 2011-02-01
Line count: 10
Word count: 54