La flûte de jade

Song Cycle by Armande de Polignac (1876 - 1962)

Word count: 1163

1. Ngo Gay Ngy [sung text checked 1 time]

Comme la lune dans le ciel bleu,
je suis seule dans ma chambre.
J'ai éteint la lampe, je pleure.
Je pleure parce que vous êtes loin de moi
et que vous ne saurez jamais
combien je vous aime.

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1. Ngo Gay Ngy [sung text checked 1 time]

Lonely like the moon up in the sky
in my room I am alone.
I have put out the lamp, and sobbing,
I cry for you who are so far away, so far,
because you will not know
how much I love you.

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2. Chant d'amour [sung text checked 1 time]

Tes mains sont deux fleurs de lân.
Tes pieds sont deux bourgeons de fleurs de magnolia.
Tes joues sont deux tulipes.
Ta bouche est une goutte de corail.
Tes seins sont deux oranges de Kinân.
Ton parfum est celui du printemps.
Ta voix est plus séduisante que le chant de la brise
dans les saules qui reverdissent.
Ton haleine est plus grisante que l'odeur d'une pagode
où brûlent des aromates.
Tu es plus belle qu'une fleur d'abricotier arrosée de lune.
Tu es toutes les fleurs, tous les parfums
tu es la splendeur du monde.
Lorsque je pense à toi, je n'envie plus les dieux.

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2. Song of love [sung text checked 1 time]

Your hands are flowers of lân.
Your feet are two magnolia blossoms flowering white.
Your brows are like twin tulips
And your mouth is like a bead of coral red.
Your breasts like golden aples of Kinân.
Your perfume is like that of the spring.
Your voice is more seductive than is the song of the breezes
whispering in the bending willows.
And your breath is more perfumed than the breath
of magic incense now burning in the pagoda.
You are more lovely than the flow'ring almond tree glowing white in the moonshine.
All the flowers on earth and all the perfumes
all are for you, Beloved.
And when I dream of you I envy not the gods.

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3. Le héron blanc [sung text checked 1 time]

Ce grand flocon de neige était un héron,
qui vient de se poser sur le lac bleu.
Immobile á l'extrémité d'un banc de sable,
le héron blanc regarde l'Hiver.

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3. The white heron [sung text checked 1 time]

The white and heavy snowflake was like a heron,
which has but just alighted on the lake.
Motionless on the sandbank's edge
The snowwhite heron dreamily gazes on the white snow.

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4. Nuit d'hiver [sung text checked 1 time]

Les craquements des bambous
m'apprennent qu'il neige.

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4. Winter night [sung text checked 1 time]

The bamboos rustle and creak.
They tell me it's snowing.

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5. Li-Si [sung text checked 1 time]

Dans les jardins du palais, la brise
caresse les jeunes fleurs des lotus.
Etendu parmi les coussins de soie
qui diaprent la terrasse, l'Empereur se repose.
Li-Si, la belle favorite, danse,
plus légère que la première écharpe de brume,
plus brillante que la première étoile.
Elle vient de se coucher près du souverain.
Ses paupières battent, ses hanches ondulent.
Maintenant, elle baisse les yeux sous le regard impérial.

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5. Li-Si [sung text checked 1 time]

Gently the breezes caress the buds
and the leaves of the lotus flowers that are his.
On the silken cushions so soft and bright
his majesty reposes on the shady terrace.
Behold Li-Si, the lovely little dancer!
See how lightly she dances like a scarf of white vapour,
far more brilliant than the first star of morning.
Now she lingers to be wooed by her gracious lord.
See her eyelids tremble, her breast softly quivers.
Now behold how her beautiful eyes droop under his imperial gaze.

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6. Ki-Fong [sung text checked 1 time]

La brise vient d'accourir.
Cet arbre a des frissons de jeune fille amoureuse.
Des poissons luisants sautent à la surface du lac.
Des pétales de lotus vont à la dérive,
avec des équipages de papillons.
Je me demande si ma femme
se doute que je ne suis pas à mes affaires. . .

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6. Ki-Fong [sung text checked 1 time]

The breeze is fanning my brow.
The trees are trembling like a pretty maiden who loves.
Little fishes bright dance and leap on the face of the lake.
And the lotus petals swiftly float down the river,
with sparkling gleaming butterflies tinted bright.
What would my wife say if she knew that I did not
go to work on this fine summer morning?

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7. La rose rouge [sung text checked 1 time]

L'épouse d'un guerrier est assise près de sa fenêtre.
Le cœur lourd, elle brode une rose blanche sur un coussin de soie.
Elle s'est piqué le doigt !
Son sang coule sur la rose blanche, qui devient une rose rouge.
Sa pensée va retrouver son bienaimé qui est à la guerre
et dont le sang rougit peut-être la neige.
Elle entend le galop d'un cheval . . .
Son bienaimé arrive-t-il, enfin ?
Ce n'est que son coeur qui bat à grands coups dans sa poitrine . . .
Elle se penche davantage sur le coussin,
et elle brode d'argent ses larmes qui entourent la rose rouge.

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7. The red rose [sung text checked 1 time]

The warrior's bride is sitting so lonely at her open window.
Sick at heart, yet her fingers are deftly working, weaving a snowwhite rose.
She has pricked her tender flesh!
Her blood on the budding rose has trickled, and it is now a crimson flower.
All her thoughts do follow him, her lover brave, so far away fighting
and whose life blood perchance now reddens the snow.
Now she hears a steed's gallop from far . . .
Oh my beloved, do you come at last?
'Tis only her heart that throbs in her breast so wildly beating . . .
Over her work she lower bends her sorrowing eyes,
and she embroiders in silver all the tears which fell on her rosebud crimson.

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8. Le palais ruiné [sung text checked 1 time]

Le torrent bondit et gronde,
le vent hurle dans les pins,
les rats fuient à mon approche
et vont se cacher sous les vieilles tuilles.
Quel monarque, jadis, fit bâtir ce palais
dont ne subsistent que des ruines
au flanc d'une montagne abrupte?
Des flammes bleuâtres courent au ras du sol.
On perçoit des gémissements, des râles.
Ces Dix Mille voix de la nature forment un sauvage concert
qui ajoute au tragique de l'automne.
Le maître de ce palais avait de belles danseuses,
qui sont aujourd'hui de la poussière froide.
Il avait des chars, des guerriers.
De tout ce faste, de toute cette gloire, que reste-t-il?
Un cheval de marbre, qui gît dans l'herbe.
Mon immense tristesse, je voudrais l'épancher dans un poème durable,
mais je pleure, et mon pinceau tremble.

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8. The ruined palace [sung text checked 1 time]

How wildly foams the torrent,
the wind howls in the pines.
The rats flying from my presence
run into their holes under stony caverns.
What proud monarch of old dwelt in this palace proud,
where but remain some falling ruins
that on the mountainside are crumbling?
And fairylike fire flickers in ghostly flame.
Hear you not the moaning, the cries of anguish?
How savagely in nature's concert
the Ten Thousandfold voices wail.
How they sorrow more dismally than autumn.
The master who once dwelt here had dancers many and youthful,
and now they are gone and but as whitened ashes.
Where are now his war chariots fleet?
Of all this glory, of all this royal splendour, what does remain?
But one marble stallion, that lies mid ruins.
All my grief and my melancholy would I could render with the words of a poet.
But my heart fails and my paintbrush trembles.

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