by François Coppée (1842 - 1908)
Translation © by Michael Berridge

Vitrail
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Sur un fond d'or pâli, les saints rouges et bleus
Qu'un plomb noir délimite en dessins anguleux,
Croisant les bras, levant au ciel un oeil étrange:
Marc, brun, près du lion; Matthieu, roux, près de l'ange;
Et Jean, tout rose, avec l'oiseau des empereurs;
Luc, et son boeuf, qui fait songer aux laboureurs
Dont le Messie aux Juifs parle en ses paraboles;
Tous désignant d'un doigt rigide les symboles
Ecrits sur un feuillet à demi déroulé;
Notre Dame la Vierge, au front immaculé,
Présantant sur ses bras Jésus, le divin Maître,
Qui lève ses deux doigts pour bénir, comme un prêtre;
Le bon Dieu, blanc vieillard qu'entourent les élus
Inclinés sous le vol des chérubins joufflus;
Et le Christ, abreuvé de fiel et de vinaigre,
Cambrant sur le bois noir son torse jaune et maigre.

Confirmed with Oeuvres Complètes de François Coppée Paris L. Hébert 1885 Poésies - Tome I pp. 66-67


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 (Michael Berridge) , "Stained glass", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2018-01-16 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-01-16 15:30:07
Line count: 16
Word count: 135

Stained glass
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
On a weathered gold background, saints red and blue
are formed into angular designs by black lead,
arms crossed, exalted eyes raised to heaven: 
Mark, brown, by his lion; Matthew, red-haired, by the angel
and John, quite pink, with the bird of the emperors ; 
Luke, and his ox, recalling the peasants
of the parables the Messiah told the Jews:
all pointing with stern fingers to the symbols
written on an open portion of scroll;
Our Lady the Virgin, her brow immaculate,
in her arms Jesus, the Master divine,
raising two fingers in a priest’s blessing;
God almighty, white-haired old man surrounded by the elect
in reverence beneath a flight of chubby cherubs;
and Christ, offered gall and vinegar,
stretching on the black wood his wasted yellow body.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2020 by Michael Berridge, (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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Text added to the website: 2020-01-11 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-11 12:45:08
Line count: 16
Word count: 128