by Alfred Noyes (1880 - 1958)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Shakespeare's Kingdom
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
When Shakespeare came to London
He met no shouting throngs;
He carried in his knapsack
A scroll of quiet songs.

No proud heraldic trumpet
Acclaimed him on his way;
Their court and camp have perished;
The songs live on for ay.

Nobody saw or heard them,
But, all around him there,
Spirits of light and music
Went treading the April air.

He passed like any pedlar,
Yet he had wealth untold.
The galleons of th' armada
Could not contain his gold.

The kings rode on to darkness.
In England's conquering hour,
Unseen arrived her splendour;
Unknown, her conquering power.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le royaume de Shakespeare", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:43
Line count: 20
Word count: 99

Le royaume de Shakespeare
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Quand Shakespeare est venu à Londres,
Il n'a rencontré aucune foule en train de crier ;
Il a porté dans son sac
Un rouleau de chansons calmes.

Aucune trompette héraldique fière
Ne l'a acclamé sur son chemin ;
Leur cour et leur camp ont disparu ;
Les chansons vivent encore pour toujours.

Personne ne les vus ou entendus,
Mais, tout autour de lui là-bas,
Des esprits de lumière et de musique
Sont venus marcher dans l'air d'avril.

Il est passé comme n'importe quel colporteur,
Pourtant il avait des richesses incalculables.
Les galions de l'Armada
Ne pouvaient contenir son or.

Les rois chevauchaient vers les ténèbres.
À l'heure de conquérir l'Angleterre,
Invisible est arrivée sa splendeur ;
Inconnue, sa puissance de conquête.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2011 by Guy Laffaille, (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


Text added to the website: 2011-06-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:26
Line count: 20
Word count: 121