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Rosemonde

Poulenc (1954)

Longtemps au pied du perron de
La maison de la dame
Que j'avais suivie pendant deux
Bonnes heures à Amsterdam
Mes doigts jetèrent des baisers

Mais le canal était désert
Le quai aussi et nul ne vit
Comment mes baisers retrouvèrent
Celle à qui j'ai donné ma vie
Un jour pendant plus de deux heures

Je la surnommai Rosemonde
Voulant pouvoir me rappeler
Sa bouche fleuri en Hollande
Puis lentement je m'en allai
Pour quêter la Rose du Monde

Guillaume Apollinaire

Rosemonde

 

A long time at the foot of the steps of
the house of the lady
that I had followed for a good two
hours in Amsterdam
my fingers threw kisses

but the canal was deserted
the quay too and nobody saw
how my kisses found their way to
her to whom I gave my life
one day for more than two hours

I gave her the name Rosemonde
wishing to be able to remember
her flowery lips in Holland
then slowly I went away
to search for the Rose of the World

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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