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Bizet - Douce mer

Douce mer

Bizet (1866)

Murmure autour de ma nacelle,
Douce mer dont les flots chéris,
Ainsi qu'une amante fidèle,
Jettent une plainte éternelle
Sur ces poétiques débris.

Que j'aime à flotter sur ton onde,
A l'heure où du haut du rocher
L'oranger, la vigne féconde,
Versent sur ta vague profonde
Une ombre propice au nocher!

Souvent, dans ma barque sans rame,
Me confiant à ton amour,
Comme pour assoupir mon âme,
Je ferme au branle de ta lame,
Mes regards fatigués du jour.

Alphonse de Lamartine

The text is from a longer poem called Adieux à la mer.

Gentle sea


Murmur around my boat,
tranquil sea whose dear waves,
like a faithful lover,
throw an eternal plaint
over her poetic debris.

How I like to float upon your swell,
at the hour when, from the top of the rock
the orange tree, the bountiful vine,
pour upon your deep wave
an opportune shadow for the helmsman!

Often, in my skiff without oars,
trusting in your love,
as if to assuage my soul,
I close my weary day-time gaze
to the din of your breakers.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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