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

Le vent roulait les feuilles mortes ;...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Le vent roulait les feuilles mortes ; mes pensées
Roulaient comme des feuilles mortes, dans la nuit.
Jamais si doucement au ciel noir n'avaient lui
Les mille roses d'or d'où tombent les rosées.

Une danse effrayante, et les feuilles froissées,
Et qui rendaient un son métallique, valsaient,
Semblaient gémir sous les étoiles, et disaient
L'inexprimable horreur des amours trépassés.

Les grands hêtres d'argent que la lune baisait
Étaient des spectres : moi, tout mon sang se glaçait
En voyant mon aimée étrangement sourire.

Comme des fronts de morts nos fronts avaient pâli,
Et, muet, me penchant vers elle, je pus lire 
Ce mot fatal écrit dans ses grands yeux : l'oubli.

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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: 14
Word count: 111

The wind rustled the dead leaves; my...
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The wind rustled the dead leaves; my thoughts
Blew about like dead leaves in the night.
Never so sweetly did the black sky contain
The thousand golden roses from which dew once fell!

A frightening dance, and the crumpled leaves,
Which gave forth a metallic sound, waltzed,
Seemed to groan under the stars, and spoke
The inexpressible horror of deceased loves.

The tall silver beeches that the moon kissed
Were specters: all my blood froze
Seeing my beloved strangely smile.

Like the brows of the dead, our foreheads paled,
And, mute, leaning towards her, I could read
That fatal word inscribed in her wide eyes: oblivion.

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  • 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: 14
Word count: 106