Translation by George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

L'art
Language: French (Français) 
Oui, l'œuvre sort plus belle
D'une forme au travail
        Rebelle,
Vers, marbre, onyx, émail.

Point de contraintes fausses !
Mais que pour marcher droit
        Tu chausses,
Muse, un cothurne étroit !

Fi du rhythme commode,
Comme un soulier trop grand,
        Du mode
Que tout pied quitte et prend !

Statuaire, repousse
L'argile que pétrit
        Le pouce
Quand flotte ailleurs l'esprit :

Lutte avec le carrare,
Avec le paros dur
        Et rare,
Gardiens du contour pur ;

Emprunte à Syracuse
Son bronze où fermement
        S'accuse
Le trait fier et charmant ;

D'une main délicate
Poursuis dans un filon
        D'agate
Le profil d'Apollon.

Peintre, fuis l'aquarelle,
Et fixe la couleur
        Trop frêle
Au four de l'émailleur ;

Fais les sirènes bleues,
Tordant de cent façons
        Leurs queues,
Les monstres des blasons ;

Dans son nimbe trilobe
La Vierge et son Jésus,
        Le globe
Avec la croix dessus.

Tout passe. -- L'art robuste
Seul a l'éternité :
        Le buste
Survit à la cité,

Et la médaille austère
Que trouve un laboureur
        Sous terre
Révèle un empereur.

Les dieux eux-mêmes meurent.
Mais les vers souverains
        Demeurent
Plus forts que les airains.

Sculpte, lime, cisèle ;
Que ton rêve flottant
        Se scelle
Dans le bloc résistant !

Authorship

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

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2013-04-12
Line count: 56
Word count: 190

All things are doubly fair
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
All things are doubly fair 
If patience fashion them 
  And care -- 
Verse, enamel, marble, gem. 

No idle chains endure: 
Yet, Muse, to walk aright, 
  Lace tight 
Thy buskin proud and sure. 

Fie on a facile measure, 
A shoe where every lout 
  At pleasure 
Slips his foot in and out ! 

Sculptor, lay by the clay 
On which thy nerveless finger 
  May linger, 
Thy thoughts flown far away. 

Keep to Carrara rare, 
Struggle with Paros cold, 
  That hold 
The subtle line and fair. 

Lest haply nature lose 
That proud, that perfect line, 
  Make thine 
The bronze of Syracuse. 

And with a tender dread 
Upon an agate's face 
  Retrace 
Apollo's golden head. 

Despise a watery hue 
And tints that soon expire. 
  With fire 
Burn thine enamel true. 

Twine, twine in artful wise 
The blue-green mermaid's arms, 
  Mid charms 
Of thousand heraldries. 

Show in their triple lobe 
Virgin and Child, that hold 
  Their globe, 
Cross-crowned and aureoled. 

-- All things return to dust 
Save beauties fashioned well. 
  The bust 
Outlasts the citadel. 

Oft doth the ploughman's heel, 
Breaking an ancient clod, 
  Reveal 
A Caesar or a god. 

The gods, too, die, alas ! 
But deathless and more strong 
  Than brass 
Remains the sovereign song. 

Chisel and carve and file, 
Till thy vague dream imprint 
  Its smile 
On the unyielding flint. 

About the headline (FAQ)

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)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2013-04-12
Line count: 56
Word count: 216