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Clair de lune

Fauré (1887)

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques,
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au claire de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Paul Verlaine

Moonlight

 

Your soul is a choice landscape
where charming masks and bergamasks pass by,
playing the lute and singing and quasi
sad beneath their fantastical disguises.

Even as they sing in the minor mode
of victorious love and timely life,
they do not seem to believe their good fortune
and their song mingles with the moonlight,

with the calm moonlight, sad and beautiful,
which makes the birds in the trees dream
and makes the water fountains sob with ecstasy,
the tall slender water fountains amidst the marble statues.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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