Melodie Treasury Banner

La solitude1

Leguerney (1951)

Les ormeaux

Un froid et ténébreux silence,
Dort à l'ombre de ces ormeaux,
Et les vents battent les rameaux
D'une amoureuse violence.

L'esprit plus retenu s'engage
Au plaisir de ce doux séjour
Où Philomèle2 nuit et jour,
Renouvelle un piteux langage.

Corine

Corine je te prie approche,
Couchons-nous sur ce tapis vert:
Et pour être mieux à couvert,
Entrons au creux de cette roche.

Ouvre tes yeux je te supplie,
Mille amours logent là-dedans
Et de leurs petits traits ardents
Ta prunelle est toute remplie:

O beauté sans doute immortelle,
Où les Dieux trouvent des appas,
Par vos yeux je ne croyais pas
Que vous fussiez du tout si belle.

La source

Si tu mouilles tes doigts d'ivoire
Dans le cristal de ce ruisseau,
Le Dieu qui loge dans cette eau
Aimera s'il en ose boire.

Présente lui ta face nue,
Tes yeux avecques l'eau riront,
Et dans ce miroir écriront
Que Vénus est ici venue.

Entends ce Dieu qui te convie
A passer dans son Élément,
Oïs qu'il soupire bellement
Sa liberté déjà ravie.

A la forêt

Sainte forêt ma confidente,
Je jure par le Dieu du jour,
Que je n'aurai jamais amour,
Qui ne te soit toute évidente.


Théophile de Viau

1These texts are all taken from one long "Ode." The title is the composer's. He has made several small changes to the text.
2Dishonoured by Tereus, her brother in law and the King of Thrace, who then cut out her tongue, the gods changed Philomela into a nightingale, sometimes called a Philomel in English poetry (meaning lover of song).

Solitude

 

The elms

A cold and dark silence
sleeps in the shade of these elms
and the winds beat at the branches
with a loving violence.

The more restrained spirit pledges itself
to the pleasure of this gentle place
where Philomela, night and day,
starts up a pitiful language again.

Corine

Corine, I beg you, come closer,
let us lie down on this green carpet:
and, to be more comfortable sheltered,
let us go into the hollow of this rock.

Open your eyes, I implore you,
a thousand loves reside therein
and, of their little ardent darts,
the pupil of your eye is quite full:

o beauty, without doubt immortal,
in which the gods find charms;
by your eyes I did not think
that you were so beautiful at all.

The spring

If you moisten your ivory fingers
in the crystal of this stream
the god who resides within this water
will love, if he dares drink any.

Show him your exposed face,
your eyes will laugh with the water,
and in this mirror will write
that Venus came to this place.

Listen to this God who invites you
to enter into his element,
hear that he sighs gently,
his freedom already ravished.

To the forest

Sacred forest, my confidant,
I swear, by the God of daytime,
that I shall never have a love
that is not entirely apparent to you.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

This translation is offered for study purposes. If seeking to use it for concert programmes please do let me know, and if for commercial purposes please consider making a small donation towards the upkeep of the site.