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Sheherezade

Word count: 487

Song Cycle by Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)

Original language: Shéhérazade

1. Asia

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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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Asia, Asia, Asia,
Old marvelous land from childhood tales
Where fantasy sleeps like an empress
In her forest filled with mystery.
Asia,
I wish to go away with the boat
Cradled this evening in the port
Mysterious and solitary
And that finally deploys her violet sails
Like an enormous night-bird in the golden sky.
I wish to go away, toward the isles of flowers,
Listening to the perverse sea sing
Over an old, bewitching rhythm.
I wish to see Damascus and the cities of Persia,
With their light minarets in the air;
I wish to see beautiful silk turbans
On dark faces with bright teeth;
I wish to see eyes dark with love
And pupils shining with joy
In skin yellowed like oranges;
I wish to see velvet robes
And clothes with long fringes.
I wish to see pipes in mouths
Surrounded by white beards;
I wish to see harsh merchants with cross-eyed gazes,
And judges, and viziers
Who with a single movement of their crooked finger
Grants life, or death, according to their desire.
I wish to see Persia, and India, and then China,
The pot-bellied mandarins under their umbrellas,
And the princesses with dainty hands,
And the literary men who quarrel
Over poetry and over beauty;
I wish to linger in the enchanted palace,
And like a foreign traveler
Contemplate at leisure painted countrysides,
On fabrics in fir frames,
With a person standing in the middle of an orchard;
I wish to see smiling assassins,
The executioner who cuts an innocent neck
With his great curved Oriental blade.
I wish to see paupers and queens;
I wish to see roses and blood;
I wish to see death caused by love or even by hate.
And then returning, later
Tell my story to the dreaming and curious
Raising, like Sinbad, my old Arab cup
From time to time to my lips
To interrupt my tale with art. . . .


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.

2. The enchanted flute

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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)



Based on

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The shade is sweet and my master sleeps,
Wearing a conical silk bonnet,
With his long yellow nose in his white beard.
But I, I waken again
And hear outside
The song of a flute pour forth
By turns sadness and joy.
A song by turns languorous and frivolous
Which my dear lover plays,
And when I approach by the window.
It seems to me that each note steals away
From the flute toward my cheek
Like a mysterious kiss.


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.

3. The indifferent one

Language: English after the French (Français)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2005 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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)



Based on

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Your eyes are soft, like those of a girl,
Young stranger,
And the fine curve
Of your handsome face with shadowed down
Is more seductive still.
Your lip sings, on the step of my door,
A tongue unknown and charming
Like dissonant music.
Enter! And let my wine comfort you. . . .
But no, you pass by
And from my door I watch you depart,
Making a last graceful gesture to me,
Your hip lightly bent
In your feminine and weary gait. . . .


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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