Dans la nymphée • In
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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 - Le jardin clos: Dans la Nymphée

Quoique tes yeux ne la voient pas,
Sache, en ton âme, qu’elle est là,
Comme autrefois divine et blanche.


Sur ce bord reposent ses mains.
Sa tête est entre ces jasmins ;

Là, ses pieds effleurent les branches.


Elle sommeille en ces rameaux.
Ses lèvres et ses yeux sont clos,
Et sa bouche à peine respire.


Parfois, la nuit, dans un éclair
Elle apparaît les yeux ouverts,
Et l’éclair dans ses yeux se mire.


Un bref éblouissement bleu
La découvre en ses longs cheveux;
Elle s’éveille, elle se lève.


Et tout un jardin ébloui
S’illumine au fond de la nuit,
Dans le rapide éclair d’un rêve.


Charles Van Lerberghe

Although your eyes do not see her,
Believe, in your heart, that she is there,
As [she was] before, divine and fair.


On this bank rest her hands.
Her head is among the jasmine;
There, her feet touch the branches.


She dozes among these boughs.
Her lips and her eyes are closed,
And her mouth scarcely breathes.


Sometimes, at night, in a flash of light,
She appears with her eyes open,
And the light is reflected in her eyes.


[In] a brief blue dazzling light
She is revealed her with her long hair.
She awakes, she rises.


And a whole brightly lit garden,
Is illuminated in the depth of the night,
In the fleeting flash of a dream.