by Paul Bourget (1852 - 1935)
Translation © by Grant A. Lewis

Les feuilles s'ouvraient sur le bord des...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
Les feuilles s'ouvraient sur le bord des branches
Les cloches tintaient, légères et franches,
    Dans le ciel clément.

Rythmique et fervent comme une antienne,
    Ce lointain appel
Me remémorait la blancheur chrétienne
    Des fleurs de l'autel.

Ces cloches parlaient d'heureuses années,
    Et, dans le grand bois,
Semblaient reverdir les feuilles fanées,
    Des jours d'autrefois.

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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 (Grant A. Lewis) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Die Glocken", copyright © 2006, (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: 12
Word count: 55

The leaves opened on the edge of the...
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The leaves opened on the edge of the branches
The bells tolled, light and free,
in the clear sky.

Rhythmically and fervently, like an antiphon,
this far-away call
reminded me of the Christian whiteness
of altar flowers.

These bells spoke of happy years,
and in the large forest
they seemed to revive the withered leaves
of days gone by.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Les cloches" = "The bells"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © by Grant A. Lewis, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 60