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Honegger - Un grand sommeil noir

Un grand sommeil noir

Honegger (1945)

Un grand sommeil noir
Tombe sur ma vie:
Dormez, tout espoir,
Dormez toute envie!

Je ne vois plus rien,
Je perds la mémoire
Du mal et du bien...
O la triste histoire!

Je suis un berceau
Qu'une main balance
Au creux d'un caveau:
Silence, silence!

Paul Verlaine

This text was also used by Honegger for his Quatre chansons pour voix grave. It is a transation of an Anacreonic ode also set, in a different translation, by Roussel.

A great black sleep


A great black sleep
falls on my life:
sleep, all hope,
sleep all desire!

I see nothing more,
I am losing my memory
of the pain and the good...
O the sad story!

I am a cradle
that a hand rocks
in the depth of a vault:
silence, silence!

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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