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Hébé

Chausson (1882)

Les yeux baissés, rougissante et candide,
Vers leur banquet quand Hébé s'avançait,
Les Dieux charmés tendaient leur coupe vide,
Et de nectar l'enfant la remplissait.

Nous tous aussi, quand passe la Jeunesse,
Nous lui tendons notre coupe à l'envi,
Quel est le vin qu'y verse la déesse?
Nous l'ignorons; il enivre et ravit.

Ayant souri dans sa grâce immortelle,
Hébé s'éloigne; on la rappelle en vain.
Longtemps encor, sur la route éternelle,
Notre œil en pleurs suit l'échanson divain.

Louise Ackermann

Hebe

 

When, with eyes lowered, blushing and candid,
Hebe came forward, towards their banquet,
the charmed Gods held out their empty goblets,
and the child filled them with nectar.

Likewise all of us, when Youth passes by,
we longingly hold out our empty cups to her,
Which iis the wine that the Goddess pours into it?
We do not know; it intoxicates and delights.

Having smiled with her immortal grace
Hebe draws away; one calls her back in vain.
A long time afterwards, along the eternal road,
our weeping eye follows the divine cup-bearer.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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