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A long black sleep •
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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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Un grand sommeil noir

Tombe sur ma vie:

Dormez, tout espoir,

Dormez, toute envie!

 

Je ne vois plus rien,

Je perds la mémoire

Du mal et du bien . . .

O la triste histoire!

 

Je suis un berceau

Qu'une main balance

Au creux d'un caveau:

Silence, silence!

 

Paul Verlaine

 

A deep black sleep

Descends upon my life:

Sleep, all hope,

Sleep, all desire!

 

I can no longer see anything,

I am losing my remembrance

Of the bad and the good . . .

Oh, the sad story!

 

I am a cradle

That is rocked by a hand

In the depth of a vault.

Silence, silence!

 

Recorded 15 February 2008

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