Summer nights

Translations © by Emily Ezust

Song Cycle by Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869)

Word count: 984
Original language: Les Nuits d'Été
1. Villanelle [sung text checked 1 time]
Quand viendra la saison nouvelle,
Quand auront disparu les froids,
Tous les deux, nous irons, ma belle,
Pour cueillir le muguet au bois;
Sous nos pieds égrénant les perles
Que l'on voit, au matin trembler,
Nous irons écouter les merles 
     Siffler.

Le printemps est venu, ma belle;
C'est le mois des amants béni;
Et l'oiseau, satinant son aile,
Dit [des]1 vers au rebord du nid.
[Oh !]2 viens donc sur [le]3 banc de mousse
Pour parler de nos beaux amours,
Et dis-moi de ta voix si douce: 
    «Toujours !»

Loin, bien loin égarant nos courses,
Faisons fuir le lapin caché,
Et le daim au miroir des sources
Admirant son grand bois penché ;
Puis chez nous tout [joyeux]4, tout aises,
En paniers, enlaçant nos doigts,
Revenons rapportant des fraises
    Des bois.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Samuel Byrne) , "Villanelle"
  • ENG English [singable] (Shula Keller) , "Villanelle", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2015
  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , "Villanelle", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , "Villanelle", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Contadinella", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 361.

1 Berlioz: "ses"
2 Viardot: "Ah ! "
3 Berlioz, Lavigne, Viardot: "ce"
4 Berlioz, Lavigne: "heureux"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
1. Villanelle
When the new season arrives,
When the cold is gone,
Together we will go, my lovely,
To gather lilies of the valley in the woods;
Strewing beneath our feet the pearls
We see trembling each morning,
We shall go to listen to the blackbirds
   Singing!

Spring has come, my lovely;
This is the month [most] blessed by lovers;
And the bird, preening its wings until they are like satin,
Recites [some]1 lines at the edge of its nest.
Oh! Come then onto [the]2 mossy bank
To speak of our beautiful loves,
And tell me in your voice so soft:
    Forever!

Far, so far away, we stray from our path,
Setting to flight the hiding rabbit
And the buck admiring in the mirror of the water
Its great lowered antlers;
Then homeward we shall go, [joyous]3 and at ease,
Entwining our fingers together like baskets;
And we shall return home carrying
    Wild strawberries!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2015 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

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View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Villanelle" = "Villanelle" (a poetic form)
1 Berlioz: "its"
2 Berlioz, Lavigne: "this"
3 Berlioz, Lavigne: "content"


This text was added to the website: 2015-01-28
Line count: 24
Word count: 152

Translation © by Emily Ezust
2. Le spectre de la rose [sung text checked 1 time]
Soulêve ta paupière close
Qu'effleure un songe virginal ;
Je suis le spectre d'une rose
Que tu portais hier au bal.
Tu me pris encore emperlée
Des pleurs d'argent de l'arrosoir,
Et, parmi la fête étoilée,
Tu me promenas tout le soir.

Ô toi qui de ma mort fus cause,
Sans que tu puisses le chasser,
[Toute la nuit]1 mon spectre rose
À ton chevet viendra danser :
Mais ne crains rien, je ne réclame
Ni messe ni De Profundis ;
Ce léger parfum est mon âme,
Et j'arrive du du paradis.

Mon destin fut digne d'envie ;
[Pour avoir un trépas]2 si beau,
Plus d'un aurait donné sa vie,
[Car j'ai ta gorge pour]3 tombeau,
Et sur l'albâtre où je repose
Un poète, avec un baiser,
Écrivit : Ci-gît une rose
Que tous les rois vont jalouser.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • FRI Frisian [singable] (Geart van der Meer) , "De siele fan de roas", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Lo spettro della rosa", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 225.

1 Berlioz: "Toutes les nuits"
2 Berlioz: "Et pour avoir un sort"
3 Berlioz: "Car sur ton sein j'ai mon"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
2. The ghost of the rose
Open your closed eyelid
Which is gently brushed by a virginal dream!
I am the ghost of the rose
That you wore last night at the ball.
You took me when I was still sprinkled with pearls
Of silvery tears from the watering-can,
And, among the sparkling festivities,
You carried me the entire night.

O you, who caused my death:
Without the power to chase it away,
You will be visited every night by my ghost,
Which will dance at your bedside.
But fear nothing; I demand
Neither Mass nor De Profundis;
This mild perfume is my soul,
And I've come from Paradise.

My destiny is worthy of envy;
And to have a fate so fine,
More than one would give his life
For on your breast I have my tomb,
And on the alabaster where I rest,
A poet with a kiss
Wrote: "Here lies a rose,
Of which all kings may be jealous."

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

Go to the single-text view

Note: this is a translation of Berlioz's version.
Translation of title "Le spectre de la rose" = "The ghost of the rose"


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 155

Translation © by Emily Ezust
3. Sur les lagunes [sung text checked 1 time]
Ma belle amie est morte:
Je pleurerai toujours;
[Sous]1 la tombe elle emporte
Mon âme et mes amours.
Dans le ciel, sans m'attendre,
Elle s'en retourna;
L'ange qui l'emmena
Ne voulut pas me prendre.
Que mon sort est amer!
Ah!  sans amour, s'en aller sur la mer!

La blanche créature
Est couchée au cercueil.
Comme dans la nature
Tout me paraît en deuil!
La colombe oubliée
Pleure et songe à l'absent;
Mon âme pleure et sent
Qu'elle est dépareillée.
Que mon sort est amer!
Ah!  sans amour, s'en aller sur la mer!

Sur moi la [nuit]2 immense
[S'étend]3 comme un linceul;
Je chante ma romance
Que le ciel entend seul.
Ah!  comme elle était belle,
[Et comme]4 je l'aimais!
Je n'aimerai jamais
Une femme autant qu'elle.
Que mon sort est amer!
Ah!  sans amour, s'en aller sur la mer!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "La mia bella amica è morta", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 227.

1 Viardot: "Dans"
2 Viardot: "mer"
3 Fauré: "Plane"
4 Fauré: "Et combien"; Viardot: "Comme"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Bertram Kottmann , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor] , Anne Rodier
3.
My beautiful love is dead,
I shall weep always;
Into the tomb, she has taken
My soul and my love.
Without waiting for me,
She has returned to heaven.
The angel which took her there
Did not want to take me.
How bitter is my fate!
Ah! without love, to go to sea!

The white creature
Is lying in the coffin;
How all in Nature
Seems bereaved to me!
The forgotten dove
Weeps and dreams of the one who is absent;
My soul cries and feels
That it has been abandoned.
How bitter is my fate,
Ah! without love, to go to sea!

Above me the immense night
Spreads itself like a shroud;
I sing my romanza
That heaven alone hears.
Ah! how beautiful she was,
And how I loved her!
I will never love
Another woman as much as I loved her;
How bitter is my fate!
ah! without love, to go to sea!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

Go to the single-text view

Translation of title "My beautiful love is dead" = "My beautiful love is dead"


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 155

Translation © by Emily Ezust
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 !

[ ... ]

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

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.

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
4. Absence
Return, return, my beloved!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life is shut,
Far from your rosy smile!

Between our hearts such distance!
Such space between our kisses!
O bitter destiny! O harsh absence! 
O great, unappeasable desires!

Between here and there what lands,
What cities and hamlets,
What valleys and montains,
To exhaust the feet of horses!

[ ... ]

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2015 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

Go to the single-text view

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Absence" = "Absence"
1 Bizet, David, Lavigne: "our"


This text was added to the website: 2015-01-28
Line count: 32
Word count: 190

Translation © by Emily Ezust
5. Au cimetière [sung text checked 1 time]
Connaissez-vous la blanche tombe,
Où flotte avec un son plaintif
  L'ombre d'un if ?
Sur l'if une pâle colombe,
Triste et seule au soleil couchant,
  Chante son chant :

Un air maladivement tendre,
À la fois charmant et fatal,
  Qui vous fait mal,
Et qu'on voudrait toujours entendre ;
Un air, comme en soupire aux cieux
  L'ange amoureux. 

On dirait que l'âme éveillée
Pleure sous terre à l'unisson
  De la chanson,
Et du malheur d'être oubliée
Se plaint dans un roucoulement
  Bien doucement.

Sur les ailes de la musique
On sent lentement revenir
  Un souvenir;
Une [ombre de forme]1 angélique,
Passe dans un rayon tremblant,
  En voile blanc.

Les belles-de-nuit demi-closes,
Jettent leur parfum faible et doux
  Autour de vous,
Et le fantôme aux molles poses
Murmure en vous tendant les bras:
  « Tu reviendras ? »

Oh! jamais plus, près de la tombe,
Je n'irai, quand descend le soir
  Au manteau noir,
Écouter la pâle colombe
Chanter sur la [branche]2 de l'if
  Son chant plaintif !

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Marike Lindhout) , "Lamento", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Lament", copyright ©
  • ENG English (Kyle Gee) , "Lament", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alberto Bonati) , copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 305.

1 Berlioz: "ombre, une forme"
2 Duparc, Berlioz: "pointe"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
5. Lament
Do you know the white tomb
Where floats with plaintive sound,
The shadow of a yew?
On the yew a pale dove,
Sad and alone under the setting sun,
Sings its song:

An air sickly tender,
At the same time charming and ominous,
Which makes you feel agony
Yet which you wish to hear always;
An air like a sigh from the heavens
of a love-lorn angel. 

One would say that an awakened soul
Is weeping under the earth in unison
With this song,
And from the misfortune of being forgotten,
Moans its sorrow in a cooing
Quite soft.

On the wings of the music
One feels the slow return
Of a memory.
A shadow, a form angelic,
Passes in a trembling ray of light,
In a white veil.

The beautiful flowers of the night, half-closed,
Send their perfume, faint and sweet,
Around you,
And the phantom of soft form
Murmurs, reaching to you her arms:
You will return!

Oh! never again near the tomb
Shall I go, when night lets fall
Its black mantle,
To hear the pale dove
Sing on the limb of the yew
Its plaintive song!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

Go to the single-text view

Berlioz's title could be translated "At the cemetery" or "To the cemetery"


This text was added to the website: 2003-10-20
Line count: 36
Word count: 190

Translation © by Emily Ezust
6. L'île inconnue [sung text checked 1 time]
Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez-vous aller ?
La voile [ouvre]1 son aile,
La brise va souffler !

L'aviron est d'ivoire,
Le pavillon de moire,
Le gouvernail d'or fin ;
J'ai pour lest une orange,
Pour voile une aile d'ange,
Pour mousse un séraphin.

Dites, la jeune belle !
Où voulez-vous aller?
La voile [ouvre]1 son aile,
La brise va souffler !

Est-ce dans la Baltique,
[Sur]2 la mer Pacifique,
Dans l'île de Java ?
Ou bien [dans la]3 Norwége,
Cueillir la fleur de neige,
Ou la fleur d'Angsoka ?

Dites, la jeune belle,
Où voulez-vous aller?
[La voile ouvre son aile,
La brise va souffler!]4

-- Menez-moi, dit la belle,
À la rive fidèle
Où l'on aime toujours.
-- Cette rive, ma chère,
On ne la connaît guère
Au pays des amours.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , no title, copyright ©
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Dite, mia giovane bella", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 309.

1 Berlioz: "enfle"
2 Berlioz, Gounod: "Dans"
3 Berlioz, Gounod: "est-ce en"
4 omitted by Berlioz and Gounod

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]
6. The unknown land
Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

The oar is made of ivory,
The flag is of silk,
The helm is of fine gold;
I have for ballast an orange,
For a sail, the wing of an angel,
For a deck boy, a seraph.

Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

Is it to the Baltic?
To the Pacific Ocean?
To the island of Java?
Or else to Norway,
To gather the flower of the snow,
Or the flower of Angsoka?

Say, young beauty,
Where do you wish to go?
The sail swells,
The breeze will blow.

-- Lead me, says the beauty,
To the faithful shore
Where one loves always!
-- This shore, my darling,
We hardly know at all
In the land of Love.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive -- https://www.lieder.net/

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.


Based on

Go to the single-text view

Note: this is a translation of Berlioz's version.

Translation of title "L'île inconnue" = "The unknown land"


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 142

Translation © by Emily Ezust