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Le colibri

Chausson (1882)

Le vert colibri, le roi des collines,
Voyant la rosée et le soleil clair
Luire dans son nid tissé d'herbe fines,
Comme un frais rayon s'échappe dans l'air.

Il se hâte et vole au source voisines,
Où les bambous font le bruit de la mer;
Où l'açoka rouge, aux odeurs divines,
S'ouvre, et porte au cœur un humide éclair.

Vers la fleur dorée il descend, se pose,
Et boit tant d'amour dans la coupe rose,
Qu'il meurt, ne sachant s'il l'a pu tarir.

Sur ta lèvre pure, ô ma bien-aimée,
Telle aussi mon âme eut voulu mourir
Du premier baiser qui l'a parfumée!

Leconte de Lisle

The humming-bird

 

The green humming-bird, the king of the hillsides,
seeing the dew and the bright sun
sparkle in its nest, woven from fine grasses,
like a fresh ray escapes in the air.

It hurries and flies to the neighbouring springs,
where the bamboos make the sound of the sea;
where the red hibiscus, with its divine fragrances,
opens, and carries a moist spark to the heart.

It descends towards the gilded flower, settles,
and drinks so much love from the rosy cup,
that it dies without knowing if it had drunk it dry.

Upon your pure lip, o my dear beloved,
so too would my soul have wished to die
of the first kiss which perfumed it!

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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