Translation © by Peter Low

Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
Language: French (Français)  after the Malagasy 
Available translation(s): ENG
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
L'oiseau nocturne a commencé ses cris,
la pleine lune brille sur ma tête,
et la rosée naissante humecte mes cheveux.
Voici l'heure ; qui peut t'arrêter,
Nahahndove, ô belle Nahandove !
 
  Le lit de feuilles est préparé ;
je l'ai parsemé de fleurs et d'herbes odoriférantes ;
il est digne de tes charmes,
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
 
  Elle vient. J'ai reconnu la respiration
précipitée que donne une marche rapide ;
j'entends le froissement de la pagne qui l'enveloppe ;
c'est elle, c'est Nahandove, la belle Nahandove !
 
  Reprends haleine, ma jeune amie ;
repose-toi sur mes genoux.
Que ton regard est enchanteur !
Que le mouvement de ton sein est vif et délicieux
sous la main qui le presse !  Tu souris,
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
 
  Tes baisers pénètrent jusqu'à l'âme ;
tes caresses brûlent tous mes sens ;
arrête, ou je vais mourir.
Meurt-on de volupté,
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
 
Le plaisir passe comme un éclair.
Ta douce haleine s'affaiblit,
tes yeux humides se referment,
ta tête se penche mollement,
et tes transports s'éteignent dans la langueur.
Jamais tu ne fus si belle,
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !
 
  [Que le sommeil est délicieux
dans les bras d’une maîtresse!
moins délicieux pourtant que le réveil.]1
Tu pars, et je vais languir dans les regrets et les désirs.
Je languirai jusqu'au soir.
Tu reviendras ce soir,
Nahandove, ô belle Nahandove !

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Confirmed with Chansons madecasses: tr. en françois, suivies de Poésies fugitives par M. le Chevalier de P . . . ., Londres: Chez Hardouin et Gattey, MDCCLXXXVII , pages 27-29

1 omitted by Ravel.

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), [adaptation] ; composed by Annette Elisabeth, Freiin von Droste-Hülshoff.

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

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "Nahandove", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 39
Word count: 238

Nahandove
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Nahandove, oh beautiful Nahandove! 
The night bird has begun to sing,
the full moon shines overhead, 
and the first dew is moistening my hair.
Now is the time: who can be delaying you? 
Oh beautiful Nahandove!

The bed of leaves is ready; 
I have strewn flowers and aromatic herbs;
it is worthy of your charms, 
oh beautiful Nahandove!

She is coming. I recognise the rapid breathing 
of someone walking quickly; 
I hear the rustle of her skirt. 
It is she, it is the beautiful Nahandove!

Catch your breath, my young sweetheart; 
rest on my lap.  
How enchanting your gaze is, 
how lively and delightful the motion of your breast 
as my hand presses it!  
You smile, oh beautiful Nahandove!

Your kisses reach into my soul; 
your caresses burn all my senses. 
Stop or I will die! 
Can one die of ecstasy? 
Oh beautiful Nahandove!

Pleasure passes like lightning; 
your sweet breathing becomes calmer,
your moist eyes close again, 
your head droops, 
and your raptures fade into weariness. 
Never were you so beautiful, 
oh beautiful Nahandove!




Now you are leaving, and I will languish in sadness and desires.
I will languish until sunset. 
You will return this evening, 
oh beautiful Nahandove!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2002 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: 36
Word count: 200