Apollinaire (from Alcools)

Le pont Mirabeau

Here is yet another very fine translation by Richard Wilbur, which preserves both the sense and much of the music of the original.

(a) For comparison: a very literal translation or crib

(b) As sung by The Pogues on their album
Pogue Mahone

The Mirabeau Bridge

Under the Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine
And our loves
Must I remember them
Joy always followed after pain

 

Let the night fall and the hours ring
The days go away, I remain

 

Hand in hand let us stay face to face
while underneath
the bridge of our arms passes
the so-slow wave of eternal looks

Let the night fall and the hours ring
The days go away, I remain

 

Love goes away like this flowing water
Love goes away
How slow life is
How violent hope is

 

Let the night fall and the hours ring
The days go away, I remain

 

The days pass and the weeks pass
Neither past time
Nor past loves return
Under the Mirabeau bridge flows the Seine

Pont Mirabeau

Below the Pont Mirabeau
Slow flows the Seine
And all our loves together
Must I recall again
Joy would always follow
After pain

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

Hands holding hands
Let us stand face to face
While underneath the bridge
Of our arms entwined slow race
Eternal gazes flowing
At wave's pace

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

Love runs away
Like running water flows
Love flows away
But oh how slow life goes
How violent is hope
Love only knows

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I

The days flow ever on
The weeks pass by in vain
Time never will return
Nor our loves burn again
Below the Pont Mirabeau
Slow flows the Seine

Let night fall, let the hours go by
The days pass on and here stand I


  • Return to the French

    The Pogues are:
    Spider Stacy: Vocals
    Jamie Clark: Guitar
    Jem Finer: Guitar
    Darryl Hunt: Bass Guitar
    Andrew Rankin: Drums
    James McNally: Accordian & Piano
    David Coulter: Baritone Ukelele
    Elektra Strings: String Quartet

    copyright 1995 Lyrics by Apollinaire, Music by Jem Finer