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Le grenier

Language: French (Français)

Je viens revoir l'asile où ma jeunesse
De la misère a subi les leçons.
J'avais vingt ans, une folle maîtresse,
De francs amis et l'amour des chansons.
Bravant le monde et les sots et les sages,
Sans avenir, riche de mon printemps,
Leste et joyeux, je montais six étages,
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

C'est un grenier, point ne veux qu'on l'ignore.
Là fut mon lit, bien chétif et bien dur;
Là fut ma table; et je retrouve encore
Trois pieds d'un vers charbonnés sur le mur.
Apparaissez, plaisirs de mon bel âge,
Que d'un coup d'aile a fustigés le Temps;
Vingt fois pour vous j'ai mis ma montre en gage,
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

Lisette ici doit surtout apparaître,
Vive, jolie, avec un frais chapeau,
Déjà sa main à l'étroite fenêtre
Suspend son châle en guise de rideau.
Sa robe aussi va parer ma couchette;
Respecte, Amour, ses plis longs et flottants.
J'ai su depuis qui payait sa toilette.
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

A table un jour, jour de grande richesse,
De mes amis les voix brillaient en chour,
Quand jusqu'ici monte un cri d'allégresse:
A Marengo Bonaparte est vainqueur!
Le canon gronde, un autre chant commence;
Nous célébrons tant de faits éclatants.
Les rois jamais n'envahiront la France.
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

Quittons ce toit où ma raison s'enivre,
Oh! qu'ils sont loin, ces jours si regrettés!
J'échangerais ce qui me reste à vivre
Contre un des mois qu'ici Dieu m'a comptés.
Pour rêver gloire, amour, plaisir, folie,
Pour dépenser sa vie en peu d'instants,
D'un long espoir pour la voir embellie,
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!


Translation(s): ENG GER

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Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

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

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

  • ENG English (William Makepeace Thackeray) , title 1: "The garret"


Text added to the website: 2011-02-04.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:14
Line count: 40
Word count: 292

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The garret

Language: English after the French (Français)

With pensive eyes the little room I view,
Where, in my youth, I weathered it so long;
With a wild mistress, a stanch1 friend or two,
And a light heart still breaking into song:
Making a mock of life and all its cares,
Rich in the glory of my rising sun,
Lightly I vaulted up four pair of stairs,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Yes, 'tis a garret, -- let him know't who will, --
There was my bed, -- full hard it was and small.
My table there, -- and I decipher still
Half a lame couplet charcoaled on the wall.
Ye joys, that time hath swept with him away,
Come to mine eyes, ye dreams of love and fun;
For you I pawned my watch how many a day,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

And see my little Lizzy, first of all;
She comes with pouting lips and sparkling eyes
Behold, how roguishly she pins her shawl
Across the narrow casement, curtain-wise;
Now by the bed her petticoat glides down,
And when did woman look the worse in none?
I have heard since who paid for many a gown,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

One jolly evening, when my friends and I
Made happy music with our songs and cheers,
A shout of triumph mounted up thus high,
And distant cannon opened on our ears:
We rise, -- we join in the triumphant strain, -- 
Napoleon conquers -- Austerlitz is won, --
Tyrants shall never tread us down again,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Let us begone, -- the place is sad and strange,--
How far, far off these happy times appear;
All that I have to live I'd gladly change
For one such month as I have wasted here, --
To draw long dreams of beauty, love, and power
From fount of hope that never will outrun,
And drink all life's quintessence in an hour,
Give me the days when I was twenty-one!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 [sic]

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

Authorship


Based on

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: 2011-02-04.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:14
Line count: 40
Word count: 328