by Max Jacob (1876 - 1944)
Translation © by Shawn Thuris

Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Réparateur perclus de vieux automobiles,
l'anachorète, hélas, a regagné son nid.
Par ma barbe, je suis trop vieillard pour Paris ;
l'angle de tes maisons m'entre dans les chevilles.
Mon gilet quadrillé a, dit-on, l'air étrusque
et mon chapeau marron va mal avec mes frusques.
Avis, c'est un placard qu'on a mis sur ma porte:
Dans ce logis tout sent la peau de chèvre morte.


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 (Shawn Thuris) , "Finale", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Finale", copyright © 2019, (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: 8
Word count: 65

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Repairman crippled with old automobiles,
The hermit, unfortunately, has made it back to his nest.
By my beard, I am too old for Paris;
The corners of your houses get into my ankles.
My checkered vest looks, one may say, almost Etruscan,
And my chestnut hat goes poorly with my outfit.
Notice, someone has placed a notice on my door:
Everything in this dwelling smells of a dead goat's skin.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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: 8
Word count: 70