The good song

Song Cycle by Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)

Word count: 876
Original language: La bonne chanson
1. Une Sainte en son auréole [sung text checked 1 time]
Une Sainte en son auréole,
Une Châtelaine en sa tour,
Tout ce que contient la parole
Humaine de grâce et d'amour.

La note d'or que fait entendre
[Un cor dans le lointain des bois]1 des bois,
Mariée à la fierté tendre
Des nobles Dames d'autrefois;

Avec cela le charme insigne
D'un frais sourire triomphant
Éclos [de]2 candeurs de cygne
Et des rougeurs de femme-enfant;

Des aspects nacrés, blancs et roses,
Un doux accord patricien:
Je vois, j'entends toutes ces choses
Dans son nom Carlovingien.

Authorship

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , "A saint enhaloed", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , "A saint enhaloed", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "Le cor dans les lointains"
2 Fauré: "dans les"
Note: Verlaine's young fiancee was named Mathilde, a name of Germanic origin. The Germanic dynasty known as the Carolingian included Charlemagne, and is closely associated with a great artistic flowering.
Note provided by Shawn Thuris


Researcher for this text: Didier Pelat
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
1. A saint enhaloed
 A saint within her halo,
 A lady in her tower,
 All that human speech contains
 Of grace and of love.
 
 The golden note by which one hears
 The horn in the depths of the woods,
 Married to the tender pride
 Of the noble ladies of the past;
 
 With this emblematic charm:
 A fresh, triumphant smile,
 Revealed with the candor of a swan
 And the blush of a woman-child,
 
 Of pearly appearance, white and pink;
 A gentle aristocratic harmony.
 I see, I hear all these things
 In your Carolingian name.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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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This text was added to the website: 2003-10-20
Line count: 16
Word count: 90

Translation © by Shawn Thuris
2. Puisque l'aube grandit [sung text checked 1 time]
Puisque l'aube grandit, puisque voici l'aurore,
Puisque, après m'avoir fui longtemps, l'espoir veut bien
Revoler devers moi qui l'appelle et l'implore,
Puisque tout ce bonheur veut bien être le mien,

[ ... ]

Je veux, guidé par vous, beaux yeux aux flammes douces,
Par toi conduit, ô main où tremblera ma main,
Marcher droit, que ce soit par des sentiers de mousses
Ou que rocs et cailloux encombrent le chemin ;

[ ... ]

Et comme, pour bercer les lenteurs de la route,
Je chanterai des airs ingénus, je me dis
Qu'elle m'écoutera sans déplaisir sans doute ;
Et vraiment je ne veux pas d'autre Paradis.

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

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
2. Since day is breaking
Since day is breaking, since dawn is here,
Since, having long eluded me, hope may
Fly back to me, who calls to it and implores it,
Since all this happiness will certainly be mine,

[ ... ]

I want, guided by you, [your] beautiful eyes [lit] by gentle flames,
Led by you, in whose hand my trembling hand [rests],
To march straight on, whether along trails of moss
Or on tracks strewn with boulders and stones;

[ ... ]

And just as I'll comfort myself [during] the tediousness of the journey,
By singing some innocent airs, I'll tell myself
That she will hear me without displeasure or doubt;
And truly I want no other paradise.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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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Based on

Translator's notes:
Stanza 7, line 1: "I'll comfort myself": the French verb bercer usually implies rocking, as of a boat or a cradle.

Translation of title "Puisque l'aube grandit" = "Since day is breaking"



This text was added to the website: 2016-02-08
Line count: 28
Word count: 125

Translation © by Laura Prichard
3. La lune blanche [sung text checked 1 time]
La lune blanche 
Luit dans les bois ;
De chaque branche 
Part une voix 
Sous la ramée...

Ô bien aimée.

L'étang reflète,
Profond miroir,
La silhouette
Du saule noir
Où le vent pleure...

Rêvons, c'est l'heure.

Un vaste et tendre
Apaisement
Semble descendre
Du firmament
Que l'astre irise...

C'est l'heure exquise.

Authorship

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Píseň"
  • ENG English (Grant A. Lewis) , "The white moon", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , "The Moment of Ecstasy", written 2002, first published 2002, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Charles Hopkins) , written c2005, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kalpea kuu ", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Pierre Mathé) , "Der weiße Mond", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Elaine Marie Ortiz-Arandes) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) [singable] (Christakis Poumbouris) , "Λευκή σελήνη", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Árpád Tóth) , "La lune blanche"
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Dezső Kosztolányi) , "Fehér hold"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "La luna bianca", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , "La hora exquisita", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alberto Bonati) , "La luna blanca", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
3. The white moon
The white moon
shines in the woods.
From each branch 
springs a voice
beneath the arbor.

Oh my beloved...

Like a deep mirror
the pond reflects
the silhouette
of the black willow
where the wind weeps.

Let us dream! It is the hour...

A vast and tender
calm
seems to descend
from a sky
made iridescent by the moon.

It is the exquisite hour!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Grant A. Lewis, (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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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 64

Translation © by Grant A. Lewis
4. J'allais par les chemins perfides [sung text checked 1 time]
J'allais par les chemins perfides,
Douloureusement incertain.
Vos chères mains furent mes guides.

Si pâle à l'horizon lointain
Luisait un faible espoir d'aurore ;
Votre regard fut le matin.

Nul bruit, sinon son pas sonore,
N'encourageait le voyageur.
Votre voix me dit: "Marche encore!"

Mon coeur craintif, mon sombre coeur
Pleurait, seul, sur la triste voie ;
L'amour, délicieux vainqueur,
Nous a réunis dans la joie.

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

  • ENG English (Laura L. Nagle) , "I was walking along treacherous paths", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
4. I was walking along treacherous paths
I was walking along treacherous paths,
Painfully uncertain.
Your dear hands were my guides.

So pale on the distant horizon
Shone a faint hope of dawn;
Your eyes were the morning.

No sound other than his ringing footstep
Encouraged the voyager.
Your voice said to me: "Walk on!"

My timid heart, my somber heart,
Cried, alone, on the dreary road;
Love, delightful conqueror,
United us in joy.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Laura L. Nagle, (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.
    Contact: 

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This text was added to the website: 2007-01-29
Line count: 13
Word count: 67

Translation © by Laura L. Nagle
5. J'ai presque peur, en vérité [sung text checked 1 time]
J'ai presque peur, en vérité
Tant je sens ma vie enlacée
A la radieuse pensée
Qui m'a pris l'âme l'autre été,

Tant votre image, à jamais chère,
Habite en ce coeur tout à vous,
[Mon]1 coeur uniquement jaloux
De vous aimer et de vous plaire ;

Et je tremble, pardonnez-moi
D'aussi franchement vous le dire,
À penser qu'un mot, [un]2 sourire
De vous est désormais ma loi,

Et qu'il vous suffirait d'un geste,
D'une parole ou d'un clin d'oeil,
Pour mettre tout mon être en deuil
De son illusion céleste.

Mais plutôt je ne veux vous voir,
L'avenir dût-il m'être sombre
Et fécond en peines sans nombre,
Qu'à travers un immense espoir,

Plongé dans ce bonheur suprême
De me dire encore et toujours,
En dépit des mornes retours,
Que je vous aime, que je t'aime !

Authorship

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

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , "I'm almost afraid, it's true", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "Ce"
2 Fauré: "qu'un"

Researcher for this text: Didier Pelat
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
5. I'm almost afraid, it's true
 I'm almost afraid, it's true,
 when I see how my life is entwined
 with the radiant thought
 that stole my soul last summer;
 
 when I see how your ever-dear image
 lives in this heart that is all yours,
 my heart that only wants
 to love you and to please you;
 
 and I tremble - forgive me
 for speaking so freely -
 at the thought that a word or a smile
 from you so rules me
 
 and that a gesture, 
 a word or a wink
 from you is enough to set my soul
 in mourning for its heavenly illusion.
 
 I really only want to see you,
 no matter how dark 
 and full of pain my future,
 through an immense hope,
 
 plunged into this supreme job
 of saying over and always to myself,
 despite all dismal returns,
 that I love you, that I love thee!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Faith J. Cormier, (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.
    Contact: 

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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 144

Translation © by Faith J. Cormier
6. Avant que tu ne t'en ailles [sung text checked 1 time]
Avant que tu ne t'en ailles,
Pâle étoile du matin
-- Mille cailles
Chantent, chantent dans le thym. --

Tourne devers le poète
Dont les yeux sont pleins d'amour ;
-- L'alouette
Monte au ciel avec le jour. --

Tourne ton regard que noie
L'aurore dans son azur ;
-- Quelle joie
Parmi les champs de blé mûr! --

[Puis]1 fais luire ma pensée
Là-bas -- bien loin, oh, bien loin !
-- La rosée
Gaîment brille sur le foin. --

Dans le doux rêve où s'agite
Ma [mie]2 endormie encor...
-- Vite, vite,
Car voici le soleil d'or. --

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Píseň"
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "Before you vanish", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Fauré: "Et"
2 Fauré: "vie"

Researcher for this text: Didier Pelat
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
6. Before you vanish
 Before you vanish,
 pale morning star...
                 (A thousand quails
                 are singing in the thyme!)
 
 turn towards the poet,
 whose eyes are full of love...
                 (The lark
                 is rising to the sky with the daybreak!)
 
 turn your gaze which the dawn
 is drowning in its blueness...
                 (What joy
                 among the fields of ripe corn!)
 
 and make my thoughts shine
 there, far away, far away...
                 (The dew
                 is gleaming brightly on the hay!)
 
 into the sweet dream where my darling
 while still asleep is stirring...
                 (Quickly, quickly,
                 for here is the golden sun!)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 92

Translation © by Peter Low
7. Donc, ce sera par un clair jour d'été [sung text checked 1 time]
Donc, ce sera par un clair jour d'été
Le grand soleil, complice de ma joie,
Fera, parmi le satin et la soie,
Plus belle encor votre chère beauté ;

Le ciel tout bleu, comme une haute tente,
Frissonnera somptueux à longs plis
Sur nos deux fronts [heureux]1 qu'auront pâlis
L'émotion du bonheur et l'attente;

Et quand le soir viendra, l'air sera doux
Qui se jouera, caressant, dans vos voiles,
Et les regards paisibles des étoiles
Bienveillamment souriront aux époux.

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

  • ENG English (Laura L. Nagle) , "And so, it shall be on a bright summer's day", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Fauré.

Researcher for this text: Didier Pelat
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
7. And so, it shall be on a bright summer's day
And so, it shall be on a bright summer's day:
The great sun, complicit in my joy,
Shall, amidst the satin and silk,
Make your dear beauty more beauteous still;

The bluest sky, like a tall tent,
Shall ripple in long creases
Upon our two happy foreheads, white
With happiness and anticipation;

And when the evening comes, the caressing breeze
That plays in your veils shall be sweet,
And the peaceful gazes of the stars
Shall smile benevolently upon the lovers.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2007 by Laura L. Nagle, (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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This text was added to the website: 2007-02-04
Line count: 12
Word count: 81

Translation © by Laura L. Nagle
8. N'est-ce pas ? [sung text checked 1 time]
[ ... ]

N'est-ce pas? nous irons gais et lents, dans la voie
Modeste que nous montre en souriant l'Espoir,
Peu soucieux qu'on nous ignore ou qu'on nous voie.

Isolés dans l'amour ainsi qu'en un bois noir,
Nos deux coeurs, exhalant leur tendresse paisible,
Seront deux rossignols qui chantent dans le soir.

[ ... ]

Sans nous préoccuper de ce que nous destine
Le Sort, nous marcherons pourtant du même pas,
Et la main dans la main, avec l'âme enfantine.

De ceux qui s'aiment sans mélange, n'est-ce pas?

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
8. Isn't it so?
[ ... ]

Isn't it so? We shall go, happy yet slow,
Along the modest path we walk in smiling hope,
Caring little if others notice or ignore us.

Isolated in love as though in a dark wood,
Our two hearts, exhaling their peaceful fondness,
Shall be two nightingales singing in the night.

[ ... ]

Without worrying ourselves about what
Fate holds in store, we walk still the same way,
Hand in hand, with the childlike soul

Of those who love completely — isn't it so?

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2015 by Shawn Thuris, (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.
    Contact: 

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Translation of title "N'est-ce pas ?" = "Isn't it so?"



This text was added to the website: 2015-01-20
Line count: 19
Word count: 90

Translation © by Shawn Thuris
9. L'hiver a cessé [sung text checked 1 time]
L'hiver a cessé : la lumière est tiède
Et danse, du sol au firmament clair.
Il faut que le coeur le plus triste cède
À l'immense joie éparse dans l'air.

[ ... ]

J'ai depuis un an le printemps dans l'âme
Et le vert retour du doux floréal,
Ainsi qu'une flamme entoure une flamme,
Met de l'idéal sur mon idéal.

Le ciel bleu prolonge, exhausse et couronne
L'immuable azur où rit mon amour
La saison est belle et ma part est bonne
Et tous mes espoirs ont enfin leur tour.

Que vienne l'été ! que viennent encore
L'automne et l'hiver ! Et chaque saison
Me sera charmante, ô Toi que décore
Cette fantaisie et cette raison !

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

  • ENG English (Shawn Thuris) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Didier Pelat
by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)
9. Winter has ended
Winter has ended: the light is soft
And dances from the sun to the clear heaven.
The saddest heart must give way
To the great joy scattered through the air.

[ ... ]

For a year I have held springtime in my soul
And the green return of the sweet blossoming,
Like a flame around a flame,
Sets upon my ideal something ideal.

The blue sky extends, exhalts and crowns
The changeless azure where my love laughs.
The season is fine and my share is good
And all my hopes have their turn at last.

Let summer come!  And let
Autumn and winter come after!  And every season
Will be dear to me, oh You who decorate
This imagining and this thought!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Shawn Thuris, (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.
    Contact: 

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Translation of title "L'hiver a cessé" = "Winter has ended"



This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 123

Translation © by Shawn Thuris