Le Temps (Time), Gerard de Nerval French Poet

Echoes of Eternity: Unveiling Gérard De Nerval’s « Le Temps »

I met Gérard De Nerval’s phantom right before recording the video.

A Peek Into Nerval’s Mysterious World

Encountering Gérard De Nerval’s spectral presence, I stepped into the aura of his artistry.

« Le Temps » is a reflective tribute that blends somber atmospheres with the core of his profound lyrics. A poignant journey through time and emotion unfolds as my voice intertwines with evocative soundscapes.

Gerard de Nerval photo color for the video Le Temps (time)

With profound darkness and gothic style, I was shocked by his attitude, hat on the head, and heavy clockwork sound. Was he Nerval or the reaper, the timekeeper?

Exploring the Melancholic Ode

« Le Temps » serves as a soul-stirring homage, encapsulating Nerval’s intricate imagery and introspective themes.

Within its evocative depths is a portal to his world, a realm of darkness and enlightenment. The music becomes a conduit for his spirit to communicate, bringing listeners into the mystery of his existence.

Tragedy and Timelessness: Nerval’s Life and Legacy

Gérard De Nerval, a luminary of 19th-century French poetry, wove vivid tales through his words. However, the shadows in his head won, leading him down a path of sadness that ended in tragedy.

His suicide in 1855 remains a poignant reminder of the fragility of artistic brilliance. He hung himself from the bar of a cellar window in the Old-Lantern street (rue de la Vieille-Lanterne) and left a brief note to his aunt: « Do not wait up for me this evening, for the night will be black and white. »

The discoverers of his body were baffled by the fact that his hat was still on his head.

Past and Present Collide: A Journey into « Le Temps »

Hosting Nerval’s spirit for « Le Temps » was an extraordinary journey. The tune brings up images of Victorian steampunk contraptions, reminiscent of Jules Verne’s adventure stories. The nineteenth century comes to life among gothic ambience and synth melodies, casting a timeless shadow over the present.

Immerse yourself in the melancholy reverie of « Le Temps. » Allow Gérard De Nerval’s intriguing world to guide you through its dark melodies and thoughtful lines. Listen now to feel his timeless feelings:

The 12th track of my first album, Le Temps, is available here. The evocative soundscapes and melancholy cadence capture the poet’s spirit, imprinting his legacy further into the realm of emotion. Relive his poems through the use of music and verse.

You will find the lyrics and translation below.

Le Temps


Le Temps ne surprend pas le sage ;
Mais du Temps le sage se rit,
Car lui seul en connaît l’usage ;
Des plaisirs que Dieu nous offrit,
Il sait embellir l’existence ;
Il sait sourire à l’espérance,
Quand l’espérance lui sourit.


Le bonheur n’est pas dans la gloire,
Dans les fers dorés d’une cour,
Dans les transports de la victoire,
Mais dans la lyre et dans l’amour.
Choisissons une jeune amante,
Un luth qui lui plaise et l’enchante ;
Aimons et chantons tour à tour !


 » Illusions ! vaines images ! « 
Nous dirons les tristes leçons
De ces mortels prétendus sages
Sur qui l’âge étend ses glaçons ;
 » Le bonheur n’est point sur la terre,
Votre amour n’est qu’une chimère,
Votre lyre n’a que des sons ! « 


Ah ! préférons cette chimère
À leur froide moralité ;
Fuyons leur voix triste et sévère ;
Si le mal est réalité,
Et si le bonheur est un songe,
Fixons les yeux sur le mensonge,
Pour ne pas voir la vérité.


Aimons au printemps de la vie,
Afin que d’un noir repentir
L’automne ne soit point suivie ;
Ne cherchons pas dans l’avenir
Le bonheur que Dieu nous dispense ;
Quand nous n’aurons plus l’espérance,
Nous garderons le souvenir.


Jouissons de ce temps rapide
Qui laisse après lui des remords,
Si l’amour, dont l’ardeur nous guide,
N’a d’aussi rapides transports :
Profitons de l’adolescence,
Car la coupe de l’existence
Ne pétille que sur ses bords !



Time does not surprise the wise;
But of Time the wise laughs,
Only him knows the use of it;
Of the pleasures that God gave us,
He knows how to embellish existence;
He knows how to smile at hope,
When hope smiles on him.


Happiness is not in glory,
In the golden gates of a courtyard,
In the march of victory,
But in the lyre and in love.
Let us choose a young lover,
A lute that pleases and enchants her;
Let’s love and sing in turn!


« Illusions! Vain images! »
Will say the sad lessons
Of these supposedly wise mortals
On whom age spreads its ice cubes;
« Happiness is not on earth,
Your love is nothing but a chimera,
Your lyre only has sounds! « 


Ah! Let’s prefer this chimera
To their cold morality;
Let us run away from their sad and severe voice;
If the evil is real,
And if happiness is a dream,
Let us fix our eyes on the lie,
So that we do not see the truth.


Let us love at the prime of life
So that from a black repentance
Autumn is not followed;
Let us not look into the future
The happiness that God gives us;
When we no longer have hope,
We will keep the memory.


Let us enjoy this fast time
Which leaves remorse after itself,
If love, the ardor of which guides us,
Doesn’t have such quick transport :
Let us enjoy adolescence,
Because the cup of existence
Only sparkles on its edges!

Translation by The Electric Phantom.

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