by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Peter Low

Le jet d'eau
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG SPA
Tes beaux yeux sont las, pauvre amante!
Reste longtemps, sans les rouvrir,
Dans cette pose nonchalante
Où t'a surprise le plaisir.
Dans la cour le jet d'eau qui jase
Et ne se tait ni nuit ni jour,
Entretient doucement l'extase
Où ce soir m'a plongé l'amour.
 
[  La gerbe épanouie
 En mille fleurs,
  Où Phoebé réjouie
 Met ses couleurs,
  Tombe comme une pluie
 De larges pleurs.]1
 
Ainsi ton âme qu'incendie
L'éclair brûlant des voluptés
S'élance, rapide et hardie,
Vers les vastes cieux enchantés.
Puis, elle s'épanche, mourante,
En un flot de triste langueur,
Qui par une invisible pente
Descend jusqu'au fond de mon coeur.
 
[  La gerbe épanouie
 En mille fleurs,
  Où Phoebé réjouie
 Met ses couleurs,
  Tombe comme une pluie
 De larges pleurs.]2
 
Ô toi, que la nuit rend si belle,
Qu'il m'est doux, penché vers tes seins,
D'écouter la plainte éternelle
Qui sanglote dans les bassins!
Lune, eau sonore, nuit bénie,
Arbres qui frissonnez autour,
Votre pure mélancolie
Est le miroir de mon amour.
 
[  La gerbe épanouie
 En mille fleurs,
  Où Phoebé réjouie
 Met ses couleurs,
  Tombe comme une pluie
 De larges pleurs. ]2

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Debussy:
 La gerbe d'eau qui berce
 Ses mille fleurs,
 Que la lune traverse
 De ses pâleurs,
 Tombe comme une averse
 De larges pleurs.
2 omitted by Debussy.

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):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Vodotrysk"
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "The fountain", copyright © 2001, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "El chorro de agua", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 42
Word count: 187

The fountain
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Your pretty eyes are tired, poor darling!
Keeping them closed, stay a long time still
in that nonchalant pose 
in which pleasure came upon you.
Out in the courtyard the chattering fountain
never silent night or day
is gently prolonging the ecstasy
into which love has plunged me this evening.

        The water-sheaf which waves
        to and fro its thousand flowers,
        and through which the moon
        shines its pallid rays,
        falls like a shower
        of large teardrops.

Even so your soul, set ablaze
by the burning flash of pleasure,
leaps up, rapid and bold,
towards the vast enchanted skies.
And then it spills, dying,
in a wave of sad languor
down an invisible slope
into the depths of my heart.

Oh beloved, whom night makes so beautiful,
as I lean over your breasts, I find it sweet
to listen to the eternal lament
that sobs in the fountain-basins!
Oh moon, sounds of water, blessed night,
oh trees trembling all around,
your pure melancholy
is the mirror of my love.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2001 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 between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 168