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Oh, sad, sad was my
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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.

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Ô triste, triste était mon âme

À cause, à cause d'une femme.

 

Je ne me suis pas consolé

Bien que mon coeur s'en soit allé,

 

Bien que mon coeur, bien que mon âme

Eussent fui loin de cette femme.

 

Je ne me suis pas consolé

Bien que mon coeur s'en soit allé.

 

Et mon coeur, mon coeur trop sensible

Dit à mon âme: Est-il possible,

 

Est-il possible, -- le fût-il, --

Ce fier exil, ce triste exil?

 

Mon âme dit à mon coeur: Sais-je

Moi-même que nous veut ce piège

 

D'être présents bien qu'exilés,

Encore que loin en allés?

 

Paul Verlaine

 

Oh, sad, sad was my soul,

Because, because of a woman.

 

I found no consolation

Though my heart had gone away,

 

Though my heart, though my soul

Had fled far from this woman.

 

I found no consolation

Though my heart had gone away.

 

And my heart, my too sensitive heart

Said to my soul: Is it possible,

 

Is it possible, -- was it, --

This proud exile, this sad exile?

 

My soul said to my heart: Do I know

Myself what this trap wants from us, this trap

 

Of being present even though exiled,

And even still gone far away?

 

Recorded 19 October 2007

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