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La cigale

Chausson (1887)

O cigale, née avec les beaux jours,
Sur les verts rameaux dès l'aube posée,
Contente de boire un peu de rosée,
Et, telle qu'un roi, tu chantes toujours!
Innocente à tous, paisible et sans ruses,
Le gai laboureur, du chêne abrité,
T'écoute de loin annoncer l'été.
Apollon t'honore autant que les Muses,
Et Zeus t'a donné l'immortalité!
Salut, sage enfant de la terre antique,
Dont le chant invite à clore les yeux,
Et qui, sous l'ardeur du soleil attique,
N'ayant chair ni sang, vis semblable aux dieux!

Leconte de Lisle

The cicada


O cicada, born with the days of fine weather,
from the green branches, once dawn has settled,
content to drink a little dew,
and, like a king, you sing forever!
Oblivious to everything, peaceful and without malice,
the gay labourer, sheltered oak by the oak,
listens to you from afar calling the arrival of Summer.
Apollo honours you as much as the Muses,
and Zeus gave you immortality!
Hail, wise child of the earth of antiquity,
whose song invites eyes to blossom,
and which, beneath the heat of the Attic sun,
having neither flesh nor blood, lives like the Gods.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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