Translation © by Peter Low

Je m'en allais, les poings dans mes...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Je m'en allais, les poings dans mes poches crevées;
Mon paletot soudain devenait idéal;
J'allais sous le ciel, Muse, et j'étais ton féal;
Oh! là là! que d'amours splendides j'ai rêvées!

Mon unique culotte avait un large trou.
Petit-Poucet rêveur, j'égrenais dans ma course
Des rimes. Mon auberge était à la Grande-Ourse.
Mes étoiles au ciel avaient un doux frou-frou

Et je les écoutais, assis au bord des routes,
Ces bons soirs de septembre où je sentais des gouttes
De rosée à mon front, comme un vin de vigueur;

Où, rimant au milieu des ombres fantastiques,
Comme des lyres, je tirais les élastiques
De mes souliers blessés, un pied près de mon coeur!

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):

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

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "My vagabondage", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-02-08
Line count: 14
Word count: 113

My vagabondage
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I would take to the road, with my fists in my holey pockets
and a coat that was getting more virtual than real.
I would walk beneath the sky, oh Muse, as your devotee.
Wow, what splendid loves I dreamt of then!

There was a big hole in my only trousers,
and as I walked, a dreamy Tom Thumb, I would count out
lines of verse. My inn was the Sign of the Great Bear.
In the sky my stars made a gentle rustling.

And I'd listen to them, while sitting at the roadside
on those good September nights when I could feel drops
of dew on my forehead, like invigorating wine.

There, making poems amid fantastical shadows,
I would stretch and pluck like lyre-strings the laces
of my wounded shoes, with one foot up near my heart.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2011 by Peter Low, (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: 2011-03-05
Line count: 14
Word count: 138