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L'aube blanche • The White
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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


L'aube blanche dit à mon rêve:
“Éveille-toi, le soleil luit”.
Mon âme écoute et je soulève
Un peu mes paupières vers lui.

 

Un rayon de lumière touche
La pâle fleur de mes yeux bleus;
Une flamme éveille ma bouche,
Un souffle éveille mes cheveux.

 

Et mon âme, comme une rose
Tremblante, lente, tout le jour,
S’éveille à la beauté des choses,
Comme mon âme à leur amour.

 

Charles Van Lerberghe


The white dawn says to my dream:
“Wake up, the sun is shining.”
My soul listens and I raise
My eyelids slightly towards it.

 

A ray of light touches
The pale flower of my blue eyes.
A flame awakens my mouth,
A breeze awakens my hair.

 

And my soul, like a rose,
Trembling slowly all day long,
Wakes to the beauty of things,
As my soul [wakes] to their love.

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