The Wikipedia edition of L'éternelle chanson (a poem written by Rosemonde Gérard) seems incorrect :

Lorsque tu seras vieux et que je serai vieille,
Lorsque mes cheveux blonds seront des cheveux blancs,
Au mois de mai, dans le jardin qui s’ensoleille,
Nous irons réchauffer nos vieux membres tremblants.
Comme le renouveau mettra nos cœurs en fête,
Nous nous croirons encore de jeunes amoureux,

The sixth line is problematic : it can't be an alexandrin since it's made of 13 syllables :

Nous(1) nous(2) croi(3)rons(4) en(5)co(6)re(7) de(8) jeu(9)nes(10) a(11)mou(12)reux(13),

Is this line correctly written ? I beg we should read :

Nous nous croirons encor de jeunes amoureux,

... encor being an alternative spelling for encore; moreover, with encor we could have the hémistiche exactly after the sixth syllable, as expected.

May someone check the exact spelling in any paper edition ? I can't check it by myself.

Any help would be appreciated !

By the way, there is(?) another error in the wikipedia edition of this poem. See at the end the famous lines :

Et comme chaque jour je t’aime davantage,
Aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain,
Qu’importeront alors les rides du visage ?
Mon amour se fera plus grave ― et serein.

The last line I quote should be read :

Mon amour se fera plus grave et plus serein.

That's the way I learned these lines fifteen years ago.

  • 1
    Not paper, but the edition reproduced therein complies exactly with your recollection. Thanks.
    – user3177
    Nov 8, 2015 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


I've always thought that "encor" was used only in 17th or 18th century poetry. But https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/encor cites a Boris Vian poem from the 1950's. So it seems right to replace the "encore" in the Rosemonde Gérard poem by "encor".


In standard French, the last e is mute so encore is made up of two syllables and is exactly pronounced like encor which would have been indeed a better alternative here, being precisely an invention (license poétique) to align the pronunciation with the classical poetry rules.

I guess either the original text was later "hyper-corrected" or the hémistiche following encore was enough for the author to assert the "e" was kept mute, like it is at the end of a verse.

  • 4
    I beg to disagree : the last "e" in "encore de" is a "e muet" before a consonant; therefore, in French poetry, it cannot be dismissed.
    – suizokukan
    Nov 8, 2015 at 20:56
  • The mute e cannot indeed be dismissed before a consonant but a e caduc before the hémistiche is nevertheless strictly forbidden. This verse is then "impossible" according the the classical rules and then the logic impose pronouncing it like if encor was used.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 9, 2015 at 13:59

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