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La messagère • The messenger
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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


Avril, et c’est le point du jour.
Tes blondes soeurs qui te ressemblent,
En ce moment, toutes ensembles
S’avancent vers toi, cher Amour.

 

Tu te tiens dans un clos ombreux
De myrte et d’aubépine blanche;
La porte s’ouvre entre les branches;
Le chemin est mystérieux.

 

Elles, lentes, en longues robes,
Une à une, main dans la main,
Franchissent le seuil indistinct
Où de la nuit devient de l’aube.

 

Celle qui s’approche d’abord,
Regarde l’ombre, te découvre,
Crie, et la fleur de ses yeux s’ouvre
Splendide dans un rire d’or.

 

Et, jusqu’à la dernière soeur
Toutes tremblent, tes lèvres touchent
Leurs lèvres, l’éclair de ta bouche
Eclate jusque dans leur coeur.

 

Charles Van Lerberghe


April, and it's the break of day.
Your blonde sisters who resemble you
At this moment are all together
Walking towards you, dear Love.

 

You wait in a shaded enclosure
Of myrtle and white hawthorn.
The door opens between the branches.
The pathway is mysterious.

 

[The sisters], slowly, in long dresses,
One by one, hand in hand,
Cross the blurred threshold
Where night becomes dawn.

 

The one who approaches first
Looks in the shadows, finds you,
Cries out, and the flower of her eyes opens,
Splendid in golden laughter.

 

And, right up to the last sister,
Each one trembles [as] your lips touch
Their lips, [and] the lightning of your mouth
Explodes right to their very heart.

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