by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Shawn Thuris

Hymne
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
À la très-chère, à la très-belle
Qui remplit mon cœur de clarté,
À l'ange, à l'idole immortelle,
Salut en immortalité !

Elle se répand dans ma vie
Comme un air imprégné de sel,
Et dans mon âme inassouvie
Verse le goût de l'éternel.

Sachet toujours frais qui parfume
L'atmosphère d'un cher réduit,
Encensoir oublié qui fume
En secret à travers la nuit,

Comment, amour incorruptible,
T'exprimer avec vérité ?
Grain de musc qui gis, invisible,
Au fond de mon éternité !

À la [très-bonne]1, à la très-belle,
Qui [fait ma joie et ma santé]2,
À l'ange, à l'idole immortelle,
Salut en immortalité !

G. Fauré sets stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Les Épaves, Galanteries, Amsterdam: À l'enseigne du Coq, 1866, pages 71-73. Also confirmed with Œuvres complètes de Charles Baudelaire, vol. I : Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Michel Lévy frères, 1868, pages 227-228. Punctuation follows first edition.

First published by À l'enseigne du Coq in Les Épaves, 1866; also appears under Spleen et Idéal as number 94 in the 1868 edition of Les Fleurs du mal.

1 Fauré: "très chère" (very dear)
2 Fauré and Gretchaninov: "remplit mon cœur de clarté"

Authorship

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

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

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


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2019-07-27 16:42:59
Line count: 20
Word count: 103

Hymn
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
To the very dear one, the very lovely one,
Who fills my heart with brightness,
To the angel, the deathless idol,
Forever hail!

She pervades my life
Like a salt-filled breeze,
And into my unsatisfied soul
Pours the taste of the eternal.

Sachet ever-fresh that perfumes
The air of a beloved recess,
Forgotten censer that smokes
In secret through the night.

Incorruptible love,
How to express the truth of you?
Grain of musk, that lies unseen
At the bottom of my eternity?

To the very good one, the very lovely one,
Who fills my heart with brightness,
To the angel, the deathless idol,
Forever hail!

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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Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2019-07-23 23:23:13
Line count: 20
Word count: 105