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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


Sois sage, ô ma douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille;
Tu réclamais le soir: il descend, le voici!
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,

Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

 

Pendant que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma douleur, donne moi la main; viens par ici

 

Loin d’eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées,
Surgir des fonds des eaux le Regret souriant;

 

Le soleil moribond s’endormir sous une arche;
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l’Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce nuit qui marche.

 

Charles Baudelaire


Behave yourself, oh my Pain, and keep more still.
You asked for Evening - it is falling; here it is.
An atmosphere of darkness envelops the city
Bringing peace to some and worry to others.

 

While the base multitude of mortals,
Whipped on by Pleasure (that tormentor without mercy),
Goes to reap remorse in servile merry-making,
My Pain, give me your hand, come this way,

 

Far from them. See the deceased Years leaning
On the sky’s balconies, in outmoded dresses,
[And,] rising from the water's depths with a smile, Regret.

 

[And see] the moribund Sun falling asleep under an arch.
And, like a long shroud trailing towards the East,
Listen, my dear, listen to the gentle night approaching.

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