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L'attente

Saint-Saëns (1855)

Monte, écureuil, monte au grand chêne,
Sur la branche des cieux prochaine,
Qui plie et tremble comme un jonc.
Cigogne, aux vieilles tours fidèle,
Oh! vole et monte à tire-d'aile
De l'église à la citadelle,
Du haut clocher au grand donjon.

Vieil aigle, monte de ton aire
A la montagne centenaire
Que blanchit l'hiver éternel.
Et toi qu'en ta couche inquiète
Jamais l'aube ne vit muette,
Monte, monte, vive alouette,
Vive alouette, monte au ciel!

Et maintenant du haut de l'arbre,
Des flèches de la tour de marbre,
Du grand mont, du ciel enflammé,
A l'horizon, parmi la brume,
Voyez-vous flotter une plume
Et courir un cheval qui fume,
Et revenir mon bien-aimé?

Victor Hugo

The wait

 

Climb, squirrel, climb into the great oak,
upon the branch close to the heavens
which bends and trembles like a reed.
Stork, faithful to the ancient towers,
oh, fly off and swiftly soar
from the church to the citadel
from the high belfry to the great keep.

Old eagle, climb from your eyrie
to the centenarian mountain
which the eternal winter cloaks in white.
And you who, in your troubled sleeping place,
never saw a dawn in silence,
climb, climb, lively lark,
lively lark, climb to the sky!

And now from the top of the tree,
from the spires of the marble towers,
from the great mountain, from the blazing sky,
on the horizon, through the mist,
do you see a feather floating
and a steaming horse galloping,
and my beloved returning?

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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