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by Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

Puisqu'ici‑bas toute âme
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG SPA
Puisqu'ici-bas toute âme
Donne à quelqu'un
Sa musique, sa flamme,
Ou son parfum ;

Puisqu'ici[-bas]1 [chaque]2 chose
Donne toujours
Son épine ou sa rose
A ses amours ;

[Puisqu'avril]3 donne aux chênes
Un bruit charmant ;
Que la nuit donne aux peines
L'oubli dormant.

Puisque l'air à la branche
Donne l'oiseau ;
Que l'aube à la pervenche
Donne un peu d'eau ;

Puisque, lorsqu'elle arrive
S'y reposer,
L'onde amère à la rive
Donne un baiser ;

Je te donne, à cette heure,
Penché sur toi,
La chose la meilleure
Que j'ai en moi !

Reçois donc ma pensée,
Triste d'ailleurs,
Qui, comme une rosée,
T'arrive en pleurs !

Reçois mes voeux sans nombre,
O mes amours !
Reçois la flamme ou l'ombre
De tous mes jours !

Mes transports pleins d'ivresses,
Pur de soupçons,
Et toutes les caresses
De mes chansons !

Mon esprit qui sans voile
Vogue au hazard,
Et qui n'a pour étoile
Que ton regard !

Ma muse, que les heures
Bercent rêvant
Qui, pleurant quand tu pleures,
Pleure souvent !

Reçois, mon bien céleste,
O ma beauté,
Mon cœur, dont rien ne reste,
L'amour ôté !

G. Fauré sets stanzas 1-3, 5-9, 11, 12
R. Hahn sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-9
E. Lalo sets stanzas 1, 8, 6, 10, 7, 9
H. Monpou sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-10, 12
L. Niedermeyer sets stanzas 1-3, 5-8, 10-12
C. Saint-Saëns sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-10, 12

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Hahn.
2 Hugo: "toute"
3 Fauré: "Puis qu'Avril"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , "As each soul here below", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) [singable] (Angelo Zanardini) , "Dolce pensier"
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alberto Bonati) , "Ya que aquí abajo toda alma", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 190

As each soul here below
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
As each soul here below
Someone has lent,
Its music or its glow
Or its own scent;

As all things here below
To true love give
A thorn, or else a rose,
As they do live;

As April gives the oaks
A charming sound;
Night pain in kind sleep soaks,
Our cares to drown.

As air the small bird lends
Unto the branch
Dawn dew the flowers sends,
Their thirst to quench;

As when dark waves reach land
To take their rest,
They leave upon the strand
A sweet caress;

I give thee, at this hour,
Bent over thee,
The best that's in my power,
The best in me!

I give my thoughts so true,
Though sad they be,
Like glistening drops of dew
They fall on thee.

My vows uncounted claim
My love, always.
Receive the shade or flame
Of all my days.

My wildest transports greet,
Suspicions gone,
And each caress so sweet
Of this my song.

My spirit which, afar,
Drifts on the sea,
Its only gliding star
The sight of thee.

My muse, rocked by the hours
In dreamful sleep
Combines her tears with yours.
Full oft she weeps.

Take, heavenly creature,
O, my beauty,
My heart - its only feature
My love for thee.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Faith J. Cormier, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 209