by Albert Victor Samain (1858 - 1900)
Translation © by Karen Kanakis

Une douceur splendide et sombre
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Une douceur splendide et sombre
Flotte sous le ciel étoilé.
On dirait que, là-haut, dans l'ombre
Un paradis s'est écroulé.

Et c'est comme l'odeur ardente,
L'odeur fiévreuse dans l'air noir,
D'une chevelure d'amante
Dénouée à travers le soir.

Tout l'espace languit de fièvres
Du fond des cœurs mystérieux
S'en viennent mourir sur les lèvres
Des mots qui font fermer les yeux.

Et [dans]1 ma bouche où s'évapore
Le parfum des bonheurs derniers
Et de mon cœur vibrant encore
S'élèvent de vagues pitiés.

Pour tous ceux-là, qui, sur la terre,
Par un tel soir tendant les bras,
N'ont point dans leur cœur solitaire
Un nom à sangloter tout bas.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Boulanger, Cras: "de"


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 (Karen Kanakis) , "Elegy", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Laura L. Nagle

This text was added to the website: 2007-08-28
Line count: 20
Word count: 108

Language: English  after the French (Français) 
A radiant and somber sweetness
floats under the starry sky.
One would say that up there in the shadow
A paradise has collapsed.

And it is like an ardent fragrance,
A fevered fragrance in the black air
of a lover's hair,
loosened across the evening.

The entire atmosphere burns with fever
from the depths of mysterious hearts.
Words that make eyes close
end up dying on the lips.

And from my mouth, from which has evaporated
the perfume of past happiness,
And from my yet living heart
arises a vague pity

For all down here who, on the earth
on such a night stretch their arms,
but do not have in their lonely heart
a name to sob to themselves.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2008 by Karen Kanakis, (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: 2008-03-11
Line count: 20
Word count: 120