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Chabrier - Lied


Chabrier (1897)

Nez au vent, cœur plein d'aise,
Berthe emplit, fraise à fraise,
Dans le bois printanier,
Son frais panier.

Les déesses de marbre
La regardent sous l'arbre
D'un air plein de douceur,
Comme une sœur,

Et dans de folles rixes
Passe l'essaim des Nixes
Et des Elfes badins
Et des Ondins.

Un Elfe dit à Berthe:
<Là-bas, sous l'ombre verte,
Il est dans les sentiers
De beaux fraisiers!>

Un Elfe a la moustache
Très fine et l'air bravanche
D'un reître ou d'un varlet
Quand il lui plait.

<Conduisez-moi, dit Berthe,
Là-bas, sous l'ombre verte,
Où sont dans les sentiers
Les beaux fraisiers.>

Leste comme une chèvre,
Berthe courait. <Ta lèvre
Est un fraisier charmant,>
Reprit l'amant.

<Le baiser, fraise rose,
Donne à la bouche éclose
Qui le laisse saisir,
Un doux plaisir.

_ S'il est ainsi, dit Berthe,
Laissons sous l'ombre verte
En paix dans les sentiers
Les beaux fraisiers!>

Catulle Mendès



Nose to the wind, heart contented,
Berthe fills, strawberry by strawberry,
in the woods of spring,
her fresh basket.

The goddesses of marble
watch her beneath the tree
with an air full of gentleness,
like a sister,

and, engaged in foolish squabbles,
the swarm of Nixies
and jovial Elves
and Water-sprites passes by.

An Elf says to Berthe:
"Over there, in the green shade,
there are, upon the paths,
fine strawberry plants!"

An Elf wears his moustache
cut fine and has the haughty air
of a reiter or of a valet
when it pleases him.

"Lead me," says Berthe,
over there in the green shade,
where, upon the paths, are
the fine strawberry plants."

Nimble as a goat,
Berthe ran. "Your lips
are a charming strawberry plant,"
began the lover again.

"The kiss, rosy strawberry,
gives to the parted mouth
which lets it catch hold,
a gentle pleasure."

"If that is so," says Berthe,
in the green shade, let us leave
the beautiful strawberry plants,
in peace upon the paths!"

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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