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Three songs

Word count: 569

Song Cycle by Jean Barraqué (1928 - 1973)

Original language: Trois mélodies

1. I sleep, but my heart is awake

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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.

    Contact:

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I sleep, but my heart is awake: 
I hear the voice of my beloved who is knocking on my door: 
“Open it for me, my sister, my friend, my dove, 
my flawless one, 
for my head is drenched with dew, 
my hair is full of the dampness of the night.”

My beloved passed his hand through the gap in the door, 
and I was moved in my guts hearing the sound he made.

I rose to open for my beloved.

I opened the door; 
but he had already left, he had gone elsewhere. 
My soul had melted, as it were, at the sound of his voice. 
I sought him and had no success, 
I called him and got no answer.

The watchmen that patrol the city met me.  
They struck me and wounded me. 
The guardians of the wall took away my cloak.

I beg you, daughters of Jerusalem, 
if you find my beloved, 
tell him that I am languishing with love.


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2. The stranger

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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.

    Contact:

    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)



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Who do you love most, enigmatic man – say it - your father, your mother, your sister or your brother?
- I have no father, no mother, no sister, no brother.
- Your friends?
- The meaning of that word has always been unknown to me.
- Your homeland?
- I don't know what latitude it lies in.
- Beauty?
- That I would gladly love, as a goddess or immortal woman.
- Gold?
- I hate it as you hate God.
- Eh! What do you love then, extraordinary stranger?
- I love the clouds… the clouds that pass… there… up there… the marvellous clouds!


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3. The infernal bridegroom

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 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.

    Contact:

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[ ... ]
Oh divine Bridegroom, my Lord, do not refuse the confession of the [saddest]1 of your handmaids. I am lost. I am drunk. I am impure. What a life! Forgive me, divine Lord, forgive, ah forgive! What a lot of tears! And many more tears later on, I hope! Later I will come to know the divine Bridegroom! I was born enslaved to Him! The other one can beat me at present! Now I am at the bottom of the world! Oh my women friends!... No, not my friends... Never were there such ravings and tortures... It's so stupid! Ah, I'm in pain, I cry out. I'm really suffering. And yet everything is permitted me, as I am burdened with the contempt of the most contemptible hearts.
[ ... ]
I am a slave of the infernal Bridegroom, the one who ruined the foolish virgins. He is the demon in question. He is not a ghost, not a phantom. But I who have lost my wisdom, who am damned and dead to the world, I will not be killed!... How can I describe him, I can't even speak now. I am in mourning, in tears, frightened. A little coolness, Lord, if you will, if you would be so kind! I am a widow… I was a widow… but yes, I used to be quite proper, and I was not born to become a skeleton!… He was almost a child… His mysterious tenderness had seduced me. I forgot all my human duty to follow him. What a life! True life is absent. We are not in the world. I go where he goes, I have to. And often he loses his temper with me, poor soul that I am. The Demon… He's a Demon, y ou know, he is not a man.

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: the above translates Barraqué's selection.
1 Barraqué: "lowest"

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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