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Cantique à l'épouse

Language: French (Français)

Épouse au front lumineux,
Voici que le soir descend
Et qu'il jette dans tes yeux
Des rayons couleur de sang.

Le crépuscule féerique
T'environne d'un feu rose.
Viens me chanter un cantique
Beau comme une sombre rose

Ou plutôt ne chante pas,
Viens te coucher sur mon coeur
Laisse?moi baiser tes bras
Pâles comme l'aube en fleur;

La nuit de tes yeux m'attire,
Nuit frémissante, mystique
Douce comme ton sourire
Heureux et mélancolique.

Et soudain la profondeur
Du passé religieux,
Le mystère et la grandeur
De notre amour sérieux,

S'ouvre au fond de nos pensées
Comme une vallée immense
Où des forêts délaissées
Rêvent dans un grand silence.

Translation(s): ENG GER

List of language codes

Submitted by Ted Perry


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 (Peter Low) , title 1: "Song to a wife", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Loblied an die Gemahlin", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-05-01 18:04:26
Line count: 24
Word count: 108

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Song to a wife

Language: English after the French (Français)

Wife with the radiant forehead,
evening now is falling
and into your eyes are shining
rays the colour of blood.

The fairy-tale dusk
surrounds you with a pink glow.
Come and sing me a song
as beautiful as a sombre rose…

or rather, do not sing,
come and lie down on my heart;
let me kiss your arms
as pale as the dawn in flower.

The night of your eyes attracts me;
it’s a quivering, mystical night,
as sweet as your smile
which is happy and melancholy.

And suddenly the depth
of the religious past,
the mystery and grandeur
of our genuine love,

opens out at the back of our thoughts
like an immense valley
in which forsaken forests
dream in a great silence.

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.


  • 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.


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Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Albert Jounet (1863 - 1923), "Cantique à l'épouse", written 1888, appears in Les lys noirs, in L'amour mystique, no. 2, the second part of the poem, first published 1888 GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ernest Amédée Chausson. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-06-02.
Last modified: 2017-06-02 16:05:23
Line count: 24
Word count: 124