Translation © by Peter Low

La source
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Une eau vive étincelle en la forêt muette,
Dérobée aux ardeurs du jour ;
Et le roseau s'y ploie, et fleurissent autour
L'hyacinthe et la violette.

Ni les chèvres paissant les cytises amers
Aux pentes des proches collines,
Ni les pasteurs chantant sur les flûtes divines,
N'ont troublé la source aux flots clairs.

Les noirs chênes, aimés des abeilles fidèles,
En ce beau lieu versent la paix,
Et les ramiers, blottis dans le feuillage épais,
Ont ployé leur col sous leurs ailes.

Les grands cerfs indolents, par les halliers mousseux,
Hument les tardives rosées ;
Sous le dais lumineux des feuilles reposées
Dorment les Sylvains paresseux.

Et la blanche Naïs dans la source sacrée
Mollement ferme ses beaux yeux ;
Elle songe, endormie ; un rire harmonieux
Flotte sur sa bouche pourprée.

Nul oeil étincelant d'un amoureux désir
N'a vu sous ces voiles limpides
La Nymphe au corps de neige, aux longs cheveux fluides
Sur le sable argenté dormir.

Et nul n'a contemplé la joue adolescente,
L'ivoire du col, ou l'éclat
Du jeune sein, l'épaule au contour délicat,
Les bras blancs, la lèvre innocente.

Mais l'Aigipan lascif, sur le prochain rameau,
Entr'ouvre la feuillée épaisse
Et voit, tout enlacé d'une humide caresse,
Ce corps souple briller sous l'eau.

Aussitôt il rit d'aise en sa joie inhumaine ;
Son rire émeut le frais réduit ;
Et la vierge s'éveille, et, pâlissant au bruit,
Disparaît comme une ombre vaine.

Telle que la Naïade, en ce bois écarté,
Dormant sous l'onde diaphane,
Fuis toujours l'oeil impur et la main du profane,
Lumière de l'âme, ô Beauté !

Authorship

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

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

  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "The spring", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-03-25
Line count: 40
Word count: 264

The spring
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
A clear spring sparkles in the silent forest,
hidden from the heat of the day;
reeds are bending there, and all around
hyacinths and violets bloom.

Neither the goats grazing on bitter laburnum
on the nearby hillsides,
nor the shepherds playing songs on divine flutes,
have disturbed the clear-flowing spring.

The dark oaks, loved by faithful bees,
pour down peace onto this beautiful spot,
and the ringdoves nestling in the thick foliage
have tucked their heads under their wings.

The great indolent stags, in the mossy thickets,
sniff the lingering late dew;
under the shining canopy of motionless leaves
the lazy Wood-sprites sleep.

And Naïs, the pale nymph inside the sacred spring,
softly closes her beautiful eyes;
she dreams, fast asleep; a harmonious laugh
floats on her crimson mouth.

No eyes gleaming with amorous desire
have seen under these limpid veils
the snowy-bodied Naiad with the long flowing hair
sleeping on the silvery sand.

And no man has gazed on her adolescent cheeks,
her ivory neck, the brightness
of her young breasts, her delicately shaped shoulders,
her white arms, or her innocent lips.

But the lecherous Faun, on a nearby tree,
half-parts the thick foliage
and sees, enlaced in a moist caress,
that supple body shining under the water.

Immediately he laughs in his inhuman joy;
a laugh that disturbs the cool glade;
and the maiden wakes, turns pale at the noise,
and disappears like a vain shadow.

Be like that Naiad, in that remote forest,
asleep under the limpid water,
flee always from impure eyes and the hands of the profane,
oh Beauty, light of the soul!

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-12-12
Line count: 40
Word count: 268