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The Gallop • Le Galop
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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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Agite, bon cheval, ta crinière fuyante,

Que l'air autour de nous se remplisse de voix,

Que j'entende craquer sous ta corne bruyante

Le gravier des ruisseaux et les débris des boix.

 

Aux vapeurs de tes flancs mêle ta chaude haleine,

Aux éclairs de tes pieds, ton écume et ton sang.

Cours, comme on voit un aigle, en effleurant la plaine,

Fouetter l'herbe d'un vol sonore et frémissant.

 

Allons! Les jeunes gens, à la nage, à la nage,

Crie à ses cavaliers le vieux chef de tribu,

Et les fils du désert respirent le pillage,

Et les chevaux sont fous du grand air qu'ils ont bu.

 

Nage ainsi dans l'espace, ô mon cheval rapide.

Abreuve-moi d'air pur, baigne-moi dans le vent,

L'étrier bat ton ventre, et j'ai lâché la bride.

Mon corps te touche à peine, il vole en te suivant.

 

Brise tout, le buisson, la barrière ou la branche.

Torrents, fossés, talus, franchis tout d'un seul bond.

Cours, cours, je rêve et sur toi, les yeux clos, je me penche,

Emporte, emporte-moi dans l'inconnu profond!

 

Sully-Prudhomme

 

Shake, good horse, your fleeing mane,

That in the air around us filled with voices.

Let me hear creak and snap under your noisy feet

The gravel of streams and the debris of woods.

 

With the air at your side mixes your hot breath,

To the spark of your feet, your foam, and your blood,

Run, as the eagle flies, brushing against the plain

Whisking the grass in your sonorous and quivering flight.

 

Let us go! Young men, swimming, swimming,

Cries the old chief of the tribe to his knights,

And the sons of the desert halt the pillaging,

And the horses are crazy from the great air they have breathed.

 

Swim also in space, o my fast horse,

Shower me with pure air, bathe me in the wind,

The stirrup hits your belly, and I have let slip the bridle.

My body hardly touches yours, it flies, following you.

 

Break everything, the bush, the fence, or the branch.

Mountain streams, ditches, embankments, cleared in a single bound.

Run, run, I dream and on you, my eyes closed, I hold myself,

Carry me, carry me into the great unknown!

 

Recorded 1 October 2008

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