Translation Singable translation by Samuel Byrne (flourished 1889)

Reviens, reviens, ma bien‑aimée !
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG GER ITA
Reviens, reviens, ma bien-aimée !
Comme une fleur loin du soleil,
La fleur de ma vie est fermée,
Loin de ton sourire vermeil.

Entre nos cœurs [tant de]1 distance ;
Tant d'espace entre nos baisers.
Ô sort amer! ô dure absence !
Ô grands désirs inapaisés !

D'ici là-bas que de campagnes,
Que de villes et de hameaux,
Que de vallons et de montagnes,
À lasser le pied des chevaux !

Au pays qui me prend ma belle,
Hélas! si je pouvais aller ;
Et si mon corps avait une aile
Comme mon âme pour voler !

Par-dessus [les]2 vertes collines,
Les montagnes au front d'azur,
Les champs rayés et les ravines,
J'irais d'un vol rapide et sûr.

Le corps ne suit pas la pensée;
Pour moi, mon âme, va tout droit,
Comme une colombe blessée,
[T'abattre]3 au rebord de son toit.

Descends dans sa gorge divine,
Blonde et fauve comme de l'or,
Douce comme un duvet d'hermine,
Sa gorge, mon royal trésor ;

Et dis, mon âme, à cette belle :
«[Tu sais bien qu'il compte les jours!]4
Ô ma colombe! à tire d'aile,
Retourne au nid de nos amours.»

G. Bizet sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-6, 8
E. Lavigne sets stanzas 1, 2, 4-6, 8
H. Berlioz sets stanzas 1-3
J. Depret sets stanzas 1, 2, 6, 8 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
L. Kreutzer sets stanzas 1-3
P. Lacome d'Estalenx sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5, 6, 8

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Théophile Gauthier, La comédie de la mort, Desessart editeur, Paris, 1838, page 283.

1 Berlioz: "quelle"
2 Bizet, David, Lavigne: "nos"
3 Berlioz, Pedrell: "S'abbatre"
4 Lavigne: appears as the last line of this verse.

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by Theodore Baker (1851 - 1934) ; composed by Arthur Hyde.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Peter Cornelius (1824 - 1874) , "Trennung" [an adaptation] ; composed by Hector Berlioz.

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Samuel Byrne) , "Absence"
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2015
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Enrico Magnani) , "Assenza", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2016-08-27 19:21:30
Line count: 32
Word count: 191

Absence
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Come back, come back, my dearest love!
Like a flower far from the sun,
The flower of my life has drooped,
removed from the charm of your smile.

Between our hearts how long a distance!
What a wide space our kisses divide!
O bitter fate! O cruel absence!
O longing vain, unsatisfied!

From thee to me how wide the country,
Town and hamlets in long array,
What winding valleys, rugged mountains,
What tir'd horses along the way!

To that far land where dwells my love,
Alas! if I could only go!
If wings were tied to my body,
As to my soul, then I would fly!

Far away, above the green hill tops,
The lofty mountains with peaks of blue,
The meadows gay, the babbling rivers,
With quick, sure wing I'd take my flight!

The body can't keep up with thought!
With me the spirit goes ahead,
Just like a poor dove that is wounded
And lights on the roof of his cot.






And say, my soul, to my sweetheart:
O my own dove! fly with all swiftness,
Back to the nest hallowed with love!
You know well that he counts the days!

Note: from the Lavigne and Berlioz scores.

Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:29
Line count: 28
Word count: 193