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by François Coppée (1842 - 1908)
Translation © by Peter Low

Marquise, vous souvenez‑vous
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Marquise, vous souvenez-vous
Du menuet que nous dansâmes?
Il était discret, noble et doux
Comme l'accord de nos deux âmes.

Aux bocages le chalumeau
A ces notes pures et lentes ;
C'était un air du grand Rameau,
Un vieil air des Indes galantes.

[Triomphante]1, vous surpreniez
Tous les coeurs et tous les hommages,
Dans votre robe à grands paniers,
Dans votre robe à grands ramages.

Vous leviez, de vos doigts gantés
Et selon la cadence douce,
Votre jupe des deux côtés
Prise entre l'index et le pouce.

Plus d'une belle, à Trianon,
Enviait, parmi vos émules,
Le [manège]2 exquis et mignon
De vos deux petits pieds à mules.

[Et]3, distraite par le bonheur
De leur causer cette souffrance,
A la reprise en la mineur,
Vous manquâtes la révérence.

C. Saint-Saëns sets stanzas 1, 3-6 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
C. Saint-Saëns sets stanzas 1, 3-6 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Saint-Saëns: "Rayonnante"
2 Saint-Saëns: "travail"
3 Saint-Saëns: "Mais"

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) , copyright © 2022, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 128

Marquise, do you remember
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Marquise, do you remember
the minuet that we danced?
It was discreet, noble and gentle
like the harmony of our two souls.

In the groves the rustic pipes
play those pure slow notes.
It was an air by the great Rameau
from his opera Les Indes Galantes.

[You triumphed]1, you surprised and won
all hearts and all compliments,
in your dress with the crinoline hoops,
your dress with the large floral patterns.

With your gloved fingers, in time
with the gentle rhythm, you lifted
the left and right hems of your skirt
clasped between thumb and forefinger.

Many a fair young rival of yours
in the Trianon Palace, envied
the cute and exquisite [play]2
of your little feet in dancing shoes.

[And]3 you, distracted by the pleasure
you felt at making them suffer,
when the music changed to A minor,
failed to make the customary curtsey.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Menuet" = "Minuet"
1 Saint-Saëns: "Radiant"
2 Saint-Saëns: "work"
3 Saint-Saëns: "But"

Authorship:

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2022 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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Based on:

 

This text was added to the website: 2022-05-25
Line count: 24
Word count: 146