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C'est l'extase langoureuse • It
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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


C’est l’extase langoureuse,
C’est la fatigue amoureuse,
C’est tous les frissons des bois
Parmi l’étreinte des brises,
C’est vers les ramures grises
Le choeur des petites voix.

 

O le frêle et frais murmure!
Cela gazouille et sussurre,
Cela ressemble au cri doux
Que l’herbe agitée expire...
Tu dirais, sous l’eau qui vire,
Le roulis sourd des cailloux.

 

Cette âme qui se lamente
En cette plainte dormante
C’est la nôtre, n’est-ce pas ?
La mienne, dis, et la tienne,
Dont s’exhale l’humble antienne
Par ce tiède soir, tout bas ?

 

Paul Verlaine


It is langorous ecstasy,
It is the fatigue of love,
It is all the shivers of the woods,
In the embrace of the breezes;
It is, in the direction of the grey branches,
The chorus of tiny voices.

 

Oh, the frail and fresh murmur!
It babbles and whispers,
It resembles the soft cry
That the waving grass exhales.
You'd say [that it sounds like], under the rolling waters,
The muffled sound of grinding pebbles.

 

This soul, which is lamenting
In this dormant moan,
It is ours, is it not?
Mine, tell me, and yours,
Whence exhales the humble anthem
On this warm evening, so quietly?

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