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Dans la forêt de Septembre

Language: French (Français)

Ramure aux rumeurs amollies,
Troncs sonores que l'âge creuse,
L'antique forêt douloureuse
S'accorde à nos mélancolies.

Ô sapins agriffés au gouffre,
Nids déserts [des]1 branches brisées,
Halliers brûlés, fleurs sans rosées,
Vous savez bien comme l'on souffre !

Et lorsque l'homme, passant blême,
Pleure dans le bois solitaire,
Des plaintes d'ombre et de mystère
L'accueillent en pleurant de même.

Bonne forêt ! promesse ouverte
De l'exil que la vie implore !
Je viens d'un pas [vivace]2 encore 
Dans ta profondeur encor verte,

Mais, d'un fin bouleau de la sente,
Une feuille, un peu rousse, frôle
Ma tête, et tremble à mon épaule ;
C'est que la forêt vieillissante,

Sachante l'hiver, où tout avorte,
Déjà proche en moi comme en elle,
Me fait l'aumône fraternelle
De sa première feuille morte.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with the newspaper Le Figaro, September 21, 1902.

1 Fauré: "aux"
2 Fauré: "alerte"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and François Le Roux


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "In the forest in September", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2018-09-06 09:30:02
Line count: 24
Word count: 129

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In the forest in September

Language: English after the French (Français)

Foliage of the deadened murmurs,
Resonant trunks hollowed by age,
The ancient, sorrowful forest
Harmonizes with our melacholy thoughts.

Oh pines, clinging to the [edges of] abysses,
Deserted nests in broken branches,
Burnt thickets, flowers without dew,
You well know how one suffers!

And when man, a pale passerby,
Weeps in the solitary woods,
Laments of shadow and of mystery
Greet him in tears just like his [own].

Good forest! Open promise
Of that exile which life seeks,
I come with a step [that is] still lively
Into your depths [that are] still green.

But from a slender birch tree by the path,
A leaf, [starting to turn] red, grazes
My head and trembles on my shoulder;
For the aging forest,

Knowing# [that] winter, when everything is stillborn,
Is already close for me as for her,
Gives me the fraternal alms
Of its first fallen leaf!

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Translator's notes:
Line 2-3: flowers without dew: implying dried or wilted petals.
Line 5-1: path: le sentier is French for path or trail.
Line 6-1: Knowing: sachant is the present participle of savoir
Line 6-2: "her" refers to the forest.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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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Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Catulle Mendès (1841 - 1909), "Dans la forêt de Septembre", first published 1902
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Michel Bosc, Gabriel Fauré. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-02-08.
Last modified: 2016-02-08 09:37:43
Line count: 24
Word count: 146