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Saint-Saëns - La cloche

La cloche

Saint-Saëns (1855)

Seule en ta sombre tour, aux faîtes dentelés,
D'où ton souffle descend sur les toits ébranlés,
O cloche suspendue au milieu des nuées
Par ton vaste roulis si souvent remuées,
Tu dors en ce moment dans l'ombre, et rien ne luit
Sous ta voûte profonde où sommeille le bruit.
Oh! tandis qu'un esprit qui jusqu'à toi s'élance,
Silencieux aussi, contemple ton silence,
Sens-tu par cet instinct vague et plein de douceur
Qui révèle toujours une sœur à la sœur,
Qu'à cette heure où s'endort la soirée expirante,
Une âme est près de toi, non moins que toi vibrante,
Qui bien souvent aussi jette un bruit solennel,
Et se plaint dans l'amour comme toi dans le ciel!

Victor Hugo

The bell


Alone in your dark tower, with its crenulated pinnacles
from which your breath descends upon the shaken roofs,
o bell, hung amid the clouds,
so often disturbed by your vast rolling,
just now you are asleep in the shadow, and nothing shines
beneath your deep vault in which the sound sleeps.
Oh! whilst a spirit which leaps up to you
gazes on your silence, likewise silent,
do you by that instinct, vague and full of kindness
which reveals one sister to another, feel
that, at this hour when the dying evening falls asleep,
a soul is close to you, no less vibrant than you,
who very often also utters a solemn sound
and laments in love like yourself in the sky!

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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