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Reviens, reviens, ma bien‑aimée !

Language: French (Français)

Reviens, reviens, ma bien-aimée !
Comme une fleur loin du soleil,
La fleur de ma vie est fermée,
Loin de ton sourire vermeil.

Entre nos cœurs [tant de]1 distance ;
Tant d'espace entre nos baisers.
Ô sort amer! ô dure absence !
Ô grands désirs inapaisés !

D'ici là-bas que de campagnes,
Que de villes et de hameaux,
Que de vallons et de montagnes,
À lasser le pied des chevaux !

Au pays qui me prend ma belle,
Hélas! si je pouvais aller ;
Et si mon corps avait une aile
Comme mon âme pour voler !

Par-dessus [les]2 vertes collines,
Les montagnes au front d'azur,
Les champs rayés et les ravines,
J'irais d'un vol rapide et sûr.

Le corps ne suit pas la pensée;
Pour moi, mon âme, va tout droit,
Comme une colombe blessée,
[T'abattre]3 au rebord de son toit.

Descends dans sa gorge divine,
Blonde et fauve comme de l'or,
Douce comme un duvet d'hermine,
Sa gorge, mon royal trésor ;

Et dis, mon âme, à cette belle :
«[Tu sais bien qu'il compte les jours!]4
Ô ma colombe! à tire d'aile,
Retourne au nid de nos amours.»

Translation(s): ENG ENG ENG GER GER ITA

List of language codes

G. Bizet sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-6, 8
E. Lavigne sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-6, 8
H. Berlioz sets stanzas 1-3
J. Depret sets stanzas 1, 2, 6, 8 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
L. Kreutzer sets stanzas 1-3
P. Lacome d'Estalenx sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5, 6, 8

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 283.

1 Berlioz: "quelle"
2 Bizet, David, Lavigne: "nos"
3 Berlioz, Pedrell: "S'abbatre"
4 Lavigne: appears as the last line of this verse.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Samuel Byrne) , "Absence"
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2015
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Enrico Magnani) , "Assenza", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2016-08-27T19:21:30
Line count: 32
Word count: 191

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Language: English after the French (Français)

Come back, come back, my dearest love!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life has drooped,
removed from the charm of your smile.

Between our hearts how long a distance!
What a wide space our kisses divide!
O bitter fate! O cruel absence!
O longing vain, unsatisfied!

From thee to me how wide the country,
Town and hamlets in long array,
What winding valleys, rugged mountains,
What tir'd horses along the way!

To that far land where dwells my love,
Alas! if I could only go!
If wings were tied to my body,
As to my soul, then I would fly!

Far away, above the green hill tops,
The lofty mountains with peaks of blue,
The meadows gay, the babbling rivers,
With quick, sure wing I'd take my flight!

The body can't keep up with thought!
With me the spirit goes ahead,
Just like a poor dove that is wounded
And lights on the roof of his cot.

And say, my soul, to my sweetheart:
O my own dove! fly with all swiftness,
Back to the nest hallowed with love!
You know well that he counts the days!

Note: from the Lavigne and Berlioz scores.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Pierre-Jules-Théophile Gautier (1811 - 1872), "Absence", written 1838, appears in La Comédie de la Mort, Paris, Éd. Desessart, first published 1838 GER GER ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Georges Albert Baudoüin, Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet, Émile Bourgeois, Montserrat Campmany i Cortés, Auguste Cœdès, Paul Combes, Arthur Coquard, Paul-Charles-Marie Curet, as Paul Puget, Félicien César David, Joseph Depret, Charlotte Devéria, née Thomas, Alberto Ghislanzoni, Manuel Giró, Lucien Hillemacher, Paul Hillemacher, Léon Charles François Kreutzer, Louis Lacombe, Paul-Jean-Jacques Lacome d'Estalenx, Ernest Lavigne, Charles Lefebvre, John Parrott, Édouard Pascal, Felipe Pedrell, Émile Pessard, Jules Philipot, Albert Renaud, Gaston Sarreau, Jacques-Michel Zoubaloff. Go to the text.

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2003-09-29T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:01:29
Line count: 28
Word count: 193