Offrande à Kypris
Language: French (Français)
Clarté du temps! Kypris au sourire innombrable,
Je t'offre, afin qu'au bras du berger aujourd'hui
Je demeure joyeuse, ardente et désirable,
Ma lampe, confidente aimable de la nuit.
Vois, je t'apporte aussi ces herbes odorantes.
La sauge humide où boit l'abeille dans l'été,
Et le cerfeuil, plus frais aux mains que l'eau courante,
Mêleront leurs parfums d'onde et de crudité.
Mon sein est puéril mais mon coeur est farouche;
Damétas le sait bien à l'heure de l'accord,
Car la flûte est moins vive et chaude sur sa bouche
Que ne l'est mon baiser qui s'appuie et qui mord.
Le soleil de midi couché dans la luzerne
S'abat moins lourdement sur la plaine et les champs,
Que ne pèse l'amour sur les corps qu'il gouverne
De son désir jaloux et de ses jeux méchants.
La paix des jours légers et doux s'en est allée.
Ô Vénus Cypria, qui naquis de la mer,
Je t'offre, à toi qui prends plaisir aux eaux salées,
Les larmes de ma joue et de mon coeur amer.
List of language codes
Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting
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, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Corinne Orde) , title 1: "Offering to Kypris", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-09-02 20:59:33
Line count: 20
Word count: 171
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Offering to Kypris
Language: English after the French (Français)
Clear weather!1 Kypris2 of innumerable smiles,
I offer you -- so that at the arm of the shepherd
Today I may remain joyful, ardent and desirable --
My lamp, that friendly confidante of the night.
See I bring you also these fragrant herbs:
Dewy sage, where the bee drinks in the summer,
And chervil, cooler to the touch than running water,
Will blend their scents of sappiness and fresh leaves.
My bosom is puerile but my heart is savage;
Dametas knows it well at the appointed time,
For the flute is less lively and warm at his mouth
Than is my kiss which presses and bites.
The midday sun is set in the lucerne
But beats down less heavily on the plain and the fields
Than does the weight of love upon the bodies that it governs,
With its jealous desires and wicked games.
The peace of light and gentle days has gone away.
O Venus Cypria3, born of the sea,
I offer you, who take pleasure in the salt waters,
The tears on my cheek and in my bitter heart.
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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Note: the French phrase is ambiguous (perhaps intentionally so). Literally and word-for-word, it means "Clarity of weather/time" and the juxtaposition of "clair" and "temps" would normally have us choose "weather". Other translators have interpreted the phrase as "light of the ages" or "bright light of time".
2 Kypris is another name for Venus/Aphrodite, who was supposedly born on Cyprus.
3 Cypria is an adjectival appellation referring to the supposed birth-place of Venus/Aphrodite.
- Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2008 by Corinne Orde, (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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Text added to the website: 2008-01-21.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:35
Line count: 20
Word count: 179