Melodie Treasury Banner

Les berceaux

Fauré (1882)

Le long du quai les grands vaisseaux,
Que la houle incline en silence,
Ne prennent pas garde au berceaux
Que la main des femmes balance.

Mais viendra le jour des adieux;
Car il faut que les femmes pleurent,
Et que les hommes curieux
Tentent les horizons qui leurrent!

Et ce jour-là, les grands vaisseaux,
Fuyant le port qui diminue,
Sentent leur masse retenue
Par l'âme des lointains berceaux.

Sully Prudhomme

The cradles

 

Along the quay the great vessels
which the swell sways in silence
take no notice of the cradles
which the hands of the women rock.

But the day of farewells will come;
for women must to weep,
and curious men must
strive for the alluring horizons!

And on that, day the great vessels,
fleeing from the diminishing port
feel their bulk held back
by the soul of the distant cradles.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

This translation is offered for study purposes. If seeking to use it for concert programmes please do let me know, and if for commercial purposes please consider making a small donation towards the upkeep of the site.