The evening's shadows are falling

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 

deutsch - français


The evening's shadows are falling,
The mist is spreading everywhere;
The waters are secretly rustling,
A white shape springs in the air.

The mermaid steps out of the main,
And besides me, she sits down;
Her breasts heave, as if in pain,
Under her gossamer gown.

She clasps me with great passion,
She holds me in a painful way;
Why do you press me in such a fashion,
You beautiful water-fay?

« I need to embrace you strongly,
And press you with such a might,
I need the warmth from your body,
It is far too cold to night. »

The moon grows paler and paler,
Low clouds stand in its way;
Your eyes grow wetter and sadder,
You beautiful water-fay.

« My eyes are neither sad nor wet,
The're not what they seem to be,
Some water drops, they've kept,
While I was coming out of the sea. »

The sea-gulls shrill entreating,
The surf surges in its mad way;
Your heart is wildly beating,
You beautiful water-fay.

« My heart is wildly pounding,
It's pounding is far too wild,
'Cause I love you beyond telling,
You lovely mortal child! »