by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Vigil
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Dark is the night,
The fire burns faint and low,
Hours -- days -- years,
Into grey ashes go;
I strive to read,
But sombre is the glow. 

Thumbed are the pages,
And the print is small;
Mocking the winds
That from the darkness call;
Feeble the fire that lends
Its light withal. 

O ghost, draw nearer;
Let thy shadowy hair
Blot out the pages
That we cannot share;
Be ours the one last leaf
By Fate left bare! 

Let's Finis scrawl,
And then Life's book put by;
Turn each to each
In all simplicity:
Ere the last flame is gone
To warm us by.

Authorship

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: "Veille", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Wache", copyright © 2013, (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 10:01:40
Line count: 24
Word count: 103

Veille
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Sombre est la nuit,
Le feu brûle faiblement, doucement,
Après des heures, des jours, des années,
Se transforme en cendres grises ;
Je m'efforce de lire,
Mais la lueur est sombre.

Les pages sont écornées
Et c'est écrit petit ;
Les vents moqueurs
Appellent depuis l'obscurité ;
Le feu faible qui accorde
En outre sa lumière.

Ô esprit, viens plus près ;
Que ta chevelure vague
Masque les pages
Que nous ne pouvons pas partager ;
Que notre dernière page soit
Laissée vide par le destin !

Gribouillons Fin,
Et puis mettons de côté le livre de la vie ;
Tournons-nous l'un vers l'autre
En toute simplicité :
Avant que ne parte la dernière flamme
Pour nous réchauffer.

Authorship

  • 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.
    Contact: 

Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2011-06-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:27
Line count: 24
Word count: 118