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La lune blanche luit dans
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The English version presented below is a literal, word-for-word translation. It attempts to preserve the poet's word order as far as possible, for a better appreciation of the composer's musical treatment of individual words and phrases. Download track from iTunes. Corinne Orde & Jonathan Cohen - Fauré & Debussy: Bonne Chanson, Belle Époque


La lune blanche
Luit dans les bois.
De chaque branche
Part une voix
Sous la ramée.
O bien aimée.

 

L'étang reflète,
Profond miroir,
La silhouette
Du saule noir
Où le vent pleure.
Rêvons, c'est l'heure.

 

Un vaste et tendre
Apaisement
Semble descendre
Du firmament
Que l'astre irise.
C'est l'heure exquise!

 

Paul Verlaine


The white moon
Shines in the woods.
From each branch
Springs a voice
Beneath the arbor.
Oh my beloved.

 

The pond reflects,
Like a deep mirror,
The silhouette
Of the black willow
Where the wind weeps.
Let us dream! It is the hour.

 

A vast and tender
Peacefulness
Seems to descend
From the firmament
Made iridescent by the stars.
It is the exquisite hour!

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