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La flûte de Pan •
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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


Pour le jour des Hyacinthies,
Il m’a donné une syrinx faite
De roseaux bien taillés,
Unis avec la blanche cire
Qui est douce à mes lèvres comme le miel.

 

Il m’apprend à jouer, assise sur ses genoux;
Mais je suis un peu tremblante.
Il en joue après moi, si doucement
Que je l’entends à peine.

 

Nous n’avons rien à nous dire,
Tant nous sommes près l’un de l’autre;
Mais nos chansons veulent se répondre,
Et tour à tour nos bouches
S’unissent sur la flûte.

 

Il est tard;
Voici le chant des grenouilles vertes
Qui commence avec la nuit.
Ma mère ne croira jamais
Que je suis restée si longtemps
A chercher ma ceinture perdue.

 

Pierre Louÿs


For the festival of Hyacinthus
He gave me a syrinx [a set of pipes], made
From well-cut reeds
Joined with the white wax
That is sweet to my lips like honey.

 

He is teaching me to play, as I sit on his knees;
But I tremble a little.
He plays it after me, so softly
That I can scarcely hear it.

 

We have nothing to say to one another,
So close to each other are we;
But our songs want to converse,
And our mouths are joined
As they take turns on the pipes.

 

It is late:
Here comes the song of the green frogs,
Which begins at dusk.
My mother will never believe
That I spent so long
Searching for my lost waistband.

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