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The song of Eve

Word count: 951

Song Cycle by Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)

Original language: La chanson d'Eve

1. Paradise

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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It is the world's first morning.
Like a misty flower exhaled by the night
on the new breath rising from the waters
a blue garden1 opens out.

Everything is still mingled and mixed:
leaves rustling, birds singing,
wings fluttering,
gushing streams, voices of air, voices of water -
an immense murmuring,
yet all composed of silence.

Opening her soft vague eyes to the light,
the divine young Eve
has awoken out of God,
and the world spreads at her feet like a beautiful dream.

And God said to her: "Go, human child,
and give to all the beings I've created
a word from your lips,
 a sound to know them by."

And Eve, obedient to her lord,
went out into her thicket of roses,
and gave to all things
a word, a sound from her flowerlike lips -

scurrying things, breathing things, flying things...

Meanwhile the day passes, and the Garden,
hazy at dusk as at dawn,
falls asleep and slips away
into the silence of a blue dream. 

The voice has stopped, but everything listens for it,
everything remains expectant,
until at the rising of the moon
Eve sings.




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2. First words

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 In my voice there sings
 - and how it sings! -
 the long-murmuring soul
 of the streams and woods!
 
 Oh limpid air of paradise,
 with your clusters of rubies,
 your sheaves of light,
 your roses and your fruits,
 
 what a miracle is happening in us at this moment!
 Words that for eons were sleeping
 are now at last coming to life
 in sounds, in flowers on my lips.
 
 Now that my breath has uttered their song,
 now that my voice has created them,
 what a deep blissful silence
 is born from their lightened souls!


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3. Fiery roses

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 Fiery roses
 in the still night,
 in you I am singing,
 in you I exist.
 
 Sparks
 at the tips of the forest,
 in you I am eternal,
 in you I can see.
 
 Deep ocean, in you
 my blood is reborn
 as a white-capped wave,
 as a dancing tide.
 
 And in you, supreme force,
 radiant sun,
 my very soul
 reaches its God!


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4. How radiant God is

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 How radiant God is today,
 how he exults, how he blossoms,
 in these flowers and fruits!
 
 How he murmurs in this stream!
 Ah, how he sings in these birds...
 How sweet his breath is
 in the fragrant new springtime!
 
 How he bathes in the light
 with Eros, my young god!
 All things on Earth
 are his radiant garments!


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5. The white dawn

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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The white dawn says to my dream:
"Wake up, the sun is shining."
My soul listens and I raise
my eyelids slightly towards it.

A ray of light touches
the pale flower of my blue eyes.
A flame awakens my mouth,
a breeze awakens my hair.

And my soul, like a rose,
trembling slowly all day through,
wakes to the beauty of things,
as my soul wakes to their love.




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6. Living water

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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How simple and clear you are,
living water,
as out of the earth
you well up in these pools and sing!

Oh pure divine spring,
the plants draw in
your liquid brightness,
in you the hind and the dove slake their thirst.

And you flow down over gentle slopes
of flowers and mosses
towards the primeval ocean;
you pass on unceasing and untiring
from land to sea and from sea to sky.




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7. Are you awake?

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 Are you awake, sun-smell of my body,
 my scent of blond bees?
 Are you wafting on the world,
 my sweet perfume of honey?
 
 At night when my footsteps
 roam in the silence,
 do you announce my presence,
 fragrance of my lilacs and warm roses?
 
 Am I like a bunch of fruit
 hidden in the leaves
 which nothing makes visible
 but which can be smelt at night?
 
 Does he know at this moment
 that I'm loosening my hair
 and that it breathes;
 can he smell it on the ground?
 
 Can he sense that I'm reaching out my arms
 and that my voice which he does not hear
 is perfumed
 with the lilies of my valleys?


IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

8. In a perfume of white roses

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 In a perfume of white roses
 Eve sits and dreams;
 and the shade is as beautiful as if an angel were reflected in it.
 
 The shadow falls, the thicket sleeps;
 on the blue paradise, among the leaves and branches,
 a golden paradise opens.
 
 [On the shore a last distant wave is dying]
 A voice murmurs which just now was singing...
 A murmur breathes out and dies away.
 
 In the silence petals fall...


IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

9. Twilight

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Who is it, what is it, this evening
that pierces through happiness with sighs and weeping?
What is this thing quivering on my heart
like a wounded bird?

[Is it a groan of the earth?]
Is it a voice of the future,
of the past?
I listen, until it hurts,
to this sound in the silence.

Oh Paradise, isle of forgetfulness,
what cry tonight is rending
your voice which lulls me?
What cry is cutting through
your girdle of flowers
and your beautiful veil of joy?


IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

10. Oh Death, dust of stars

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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 Oh Death, dust of stars,
 rise up under my footsteps!
 
 Come, gentle wave shining
 in the dark,
 carry me off into your nothingness!
 
 Come, sombre breeze in which I sway,
 come like a flame intoxicated with wind!
 
 In you I want to stretch out,
 fade and dissolve,
 oh death, my soul's aspiration!
 [strong god whom my soul awaits
 with songs and laughter of love]
 
 Come, break me like a flower of foam,
 a sun-bloom on the crest
 of the waves!
 [a flower plucked by the night, obscured by shadow
 and scattered by space]
 
 And like a wine of fire and divine scent
 flowing from a golden amphora,
 pour out my soul
 into your abyss, so that it may perfume
 the dark earth and the breath of the dead.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

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