by Claude Achille Debussy (1862 - 1918)
Translation © by Faith J. Cormier

De rêve
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER
La nuit a des douceurs de femme,
Et les vieux arbres, sous la lune d'or,
Songent! A Celle qui vient de passer,
La tête emperlée,
Maintenant navrée, à jamais navrée,
Ils n'ont pas su lui faire signe...
Toutes! Elles ont passé:
Les Frêles, les Folles,
Semant leur rire au gazon grêle,
Aux brises frôleuses
la caresse charmeuse des hanches fleurissantes.
Hélas! de tout ceci, plus rien qu'un blanc frisson...
Les vieux arbres sous la lune d'or
Pleurent leurs belles feuilles d'or!
Nul ne leur dédiera
Plus la fierté des casques d'or,
Maintenant ternis, à jamais ternis:
Les chevaliers sont morts
Sur le chemin du Grâal!
La nuit a des douceurs de femme,
Des mains semblent frôler les âmes,
Mains si folles, si frêles,
Au temps où les épées chantaient pour Elles!
D'étranges soupirs s'élèvent sous les arbres:
Mon âme c'est du rêve ancien qui t'étreint!

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , title 1: "Dreams", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Vom Traum", 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: 25
Word count: 145

Dreams
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The night is as sweet as a woman, 
and the old trees dream under the golden moon. 
They didn't know how to call to the one who just passed,
her head crowned with pearls, 
now and forever distraught. 

All have passed now, 
the frail, the foolish, 
sowing their laughter in the sparse grass, 
breezes brushing 
the flowering hips' charming caress. 
Alas! Only a white shiver remains of all this. 
The old trees weep their gilded leaves 
under the golden moon. 
No more will anyone dedicate to them 
proud golden helms. 
Now and forever tarnished, 
the knights are dead 
on the Grail quest. 
The night is sweet as a woman. 
Hands seem to stroke the souls, 
such foolish, frail hands, 
in the days when swords sang for them! 
Strange sighs rise under the trees.
My soul they are from an old dream that holds you.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2003 by Faith J. Cormier, (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: 24
Word count: 144