Home Contact

Fauré - Dans la forêt de septembre

Dans la forêt de septembre

Fauré (1902)

Ramure aux rumeurs amollies,
Troncs sonores que l'âge creuse,
L'antique forêt douloureuse
S'accorde à nos mélancholies.
O sapins agriffés aux gouffres,
Nids déserts aux branches brisées,
Halliers brûlés, fleurs sans rosées,
Vous savez bien comme l'on souffre!

Et lorsque l'homme, passant blême,
Pleure dans le bois solitaire,
Des plaintes d'ombre et de mystère
L'accueillent en pleurant de même.
Bonne forêt! promesse ouverte
De l'exil que la vie implore,
Je viens d'un pas alerte encore
Dans ta profondeur encor verte.

Mais d'un fin bouleau de la sente,
Une feuille, un peu rousse, frôle
Ma tête et tremble à mon épaule;
C'est que la forêt vieillissante,
Sachant l'hiver, où tout avorte,
Déjà proche en moi comme en elle,
Me fait l'aumône fraternelle
De sa première feuille morte!

Catulle Mendès

In the September forest


Branch with the muffled murmurings,
sonorous trunks which the years hollow,
the ancient and sorrowful forest
harmonizes with our sadnesses.
O pine-trees clutching the abysses,
barren nests on the broken branches,
burnt thickets, flowers without dew,
you know well how one suffers!

And when the man, passing by, pale,
weeps in the lonely wood,
laments of shadow and of mystery
greet him likewise in tears.
Good forest! Open promise
of the exile for which life implores,
I come, with a still lively step,
into your still green depths.

But a slightly russet leaf
of a slender birch by the path grazes
my head and trembles at my shoulder;
it is that the aging forest,
knowing winter, when all aborts,
to be already close in me as in itself,
is giving me the fraternal alms
of its first dead leaf!

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

Please be aware that some of the original French texts on this site are still in copyright. The translations are offered here for study purposes.

Students and not-for-profit events are always welcome to use the transaltions for their programmes free of charge. I am however glad to be told when they are being used! Send me an email and do share the site with friends and colleagues! If seeking to use them for commercial purposes please also consider making a small donation towards the upkeep of the site: