Debussy

Les Angélus words are by Grégoire Le Roy (1862-1941).

Cloches chrétiennes pour les matines,
Sonnant au coeur d’espérer encore!
Angelus angelisés d’aurore!
Las! Où sont vos prières câlines?

Vous étiez de si douce folies!
Et chanterelles d’amours prochaines!
Aujourd’hui souveraine est ma peine.
Et toutes matines abolies.

Je ne vis plus que d’ombre et de soir;
Les las angelus pleurent la mort,
Et là, dans mon coeur résigné, dort
La seule veuve de tout espoir.

Christian matin bells ring out,
Telling the heart to continue to hope!
Angelus bells made angelic with dawn!
Alas, where are your soothing prayers?

You were such a sweet madness!
Harbingers of future loves!
Today, my sorrow reigns supreme
And all matin bells have been abolished.

My whole life is but shadow and evening;
The weary angelus bewails death,
And there, in my resigned heart, sleeps
The only widow of any hope.

Poetry for Le jet d’eau/the Fountain is by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

Tes beaux yeux sont las, pauvre amante!
Reste longtemps, sans les rouvrir,
Dans cette pose nonchalante
Où t’a surprise le plaisir.
Dans la cour le jet d’eau qui jase
Et ne se tait ni nuit ni jour,
Entretient doucement l’extase
Où ce soir m’a plongé l’amour.

La gerbe d’eau qui berce
Ses mille fleurs,
Que la lune traverse
De ses pâleurs,
Tombe comme une averse
De larges pleurs.

Ainsi ton âme qu’incendie
L’éclair brûlant des voluptés
S’élance, rapide et hardie,
Vers les vastes cieux enchantés.
Puis, elle s’épanche, mourante,
En un flot de triste langueur,
Qui par une invisible pente
Descend jusqu’au fond de mon coeur.

Ô toi, que la nuit rend si belle,
Qu’il m’est doux, penché vers tes seins,
D’écouter la plainte éternelle
Qui sanglote dans les bassins!
Lune, eau sonore, nuit bénie,
Arbres qui frissonnez autour,
Votre pure mélancolie
Est le miroir de mon amour.

Your pretty eyes are tired, poor darling!
Keeping them closed, stay a long time still
in that nonchalant pose
in which pleasure came upon you.
Out in the courtyard the chattering fountain
never silent night or day
is gently prolonging the ecstasy
into which love has plunged me this evening.

The water-sheaf that waves
to and fro its thousand flowers,
and through which the moon
shines its pallid rays,
falls like a shower
of large teardrops.

Even so your soul, set ablaze
by the burning flash of pleasure,
leaps up, rapid and bold,
towards the vast enchanted skies.
And then it spills, dying,
in a wave of sad languor
down an invisible slope
into the depths of my heart.

Oh beloved, who night makes so beautiful,
as I lean over your breasts, I find it sweet
to listen to the eternal lament
that sobs in the fountain-basins!
Oh moon, sounds of water, blessed night,
oh trees trembling all around,
your pure melancholy
is the mirror of my love.

Trois Ballades de François Villon (1431-1463)
Ballade de Villon à s’amye/Ballad to his beloved

Faulse beauté, qui tant me couste cher,
Rude en effect, hypocrite doulceur,
Amour dure, plus que fer, à mascher;
Nommer que puis de ma deffaçon seur.
Charme felon, la mort d’ung povre cueur,
Orgueil mussé, qui gens met au mourir,
Yeulx sans pitié! ne veult droict de rigueur
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir?

Mieulx m’eust valu avoir esté crier
Ailleurs secours, c’eust esté mon bonheur:
Rien ne m’eust sceu de ce fait arracher;
Trotter m’en fault en fuyte à deshonneur.
Haro, haro, le grand et le mineur!
Et qu’est cecy? mourray sans coup ferir,
Ou pitié peult, selon ceste teneur,
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir.

Ung temps viendra, qui fera desseicher,
Jaulnir, flestrir, vostre espanie fleur:
J’en risse lors, se tant peusse marcher,
Mais las! nenny: ce seroit donc foleur,
Vieil je seray; vous, laide et sans couleur.
Or, beuvez, fort, tant que ru peult courir.
Ne donnez pas à tous ceste douleur
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir.

Envoi
Prince amoureux, des amans le greigneur,
Vostre mal gré ne vouldroye encourir;
Mais tout franc cueur doit, par Nostre Seigneur,
Sans empirer, ung povre secourir.

Deceptive beauty, which costs me so dear,
in fact course, hypocritical gentleness,
love harder even than iron to chew;
I can name you certain cause of my undoing.
Disloyal charm, the death of a poor heart,
hidden pride, which condemns men to death,
eyes without pity, does not the Law from rigour,
without worsening his lot, rescue a poor fellow?

It would have served me better to have gone elsewhere
to cry for help: it would have been my good fortune;
nothing succeeded in tearing me from this fate.
I must hurry on my flight from dishonour.
Help, help, great and small!
And what is this? Shall I die without striking a blow?
Or will pity, given this circumstance,
without worsening his lot, rescue a poor fellow?

A time will come which will dry,
yellow, wither, your blossoming flower;
I shall laugh then, if I can still walk enough,
but alas! Nay; for it would be folly,
I shall be old; you, ugly and without colour;
so drink deeply, while the stream still flows;
do not inflict this pain on everybody,
without worsening his lot, rescue a poor fellow.

Prince in love, greatest among lovers,
I would not wish to incur your displeasure,
but each noble heart must, by Our Lord,
without worsening his lot, rescue a poor fellow.

“Ballade que feit Villon à requeste de sa mère pour prier Nostre-Dame” (The Ballad Which Inspired Villon to Ask His Mother to Pray to the Blessed Lady)

Dame du ciel, regente terrienne,
Emperière des infernaulx palux,
Recevez-moy, vostre humble chrestienne,
Que comprinse soye entre vos esleuz,
Ce non obstant qu’oncques riens ne valuz.
Les biens de vous, ma dame et ma maistresse,
Sont trop plus grans que ne suys pecheresse,
Sans lesquelz bien ame ne peult
Merir n’avoir les cieulx,
Je n’en suis mentèresse.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.

À vostre Filz dictes que je suys sienne;
De luy soyent mes pechez aboluz:
Pardonnez-moy comme à l’Egyptienne,
Ou comme il feut au clerc Theophilus,
Lequel par vous fut quitte et absoluz,
Combien qu’il eust au diable faict promesse.
Preservez-moy que je n’accomplisse ce!
Vierge portant sans rompure encourir
Le sacrement qu’on celebre à la messe.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.

Femme je suis povrette et ancienne,
Qui riens ne sçay, oncques lettre ne leuz;
Au moustier voy dont suis paroissienne,
Paradis painct où sont harpes et luz,
Et ung enfer où damnez sont boulluz:
L’ung me faict paour, l’aultre joye et liesse.
La joye avoir faismoy, haulte Deesse,
A qui pecheurs doibvent tous recourir,
Comblez de foy, sans faincte ne paresse.
En ceste foy je vueil vivre et mourir.

Lady of heaven, regent of the earth,
empress of the infernal swamps,
receive me, your humble Christian woman,
that I be numbered among your elect,
notwithstanding that I was worth nothing.
Your good morals, my Lady and my Mistress,
are far too great though I am no sinner,
without such morals, no soul can deserve
nor gain the heavens.
I am no liar.
In this faith I wish to live and die.

Tell your Son that I am his;
through him may my sins be abolished;
forgive me, like the Egyptian woman,
or as he did the clerk Theophilus,
who through you was acquitted and absolved,
however many promises he had made to the devil
keep me from ever doing such a thing!
Virgin bearing, without loss of virginity,
the sacrament which is celebrated at mass:
in this faith I wish to live and die.

Woman am I, poor and old,
who knows nothing; nor am I well read.
I see at the monastery, of which I am a parishioner,
Heaven painted, with harps and lutes,
and a hell where the damned are boiled:
the one brings me fright, the other joy and jubilation.
Grant me joy, high Goddess
to whom sinners must all have recourse,
fulfilled in faith, without insincerity or sloth:
in this faith I wish to live and die.

“Ballade des femmes de Paris” (The Ballad of the Parisian Women)

Quoy qu’on tient belles langagières
Florentines, Veniciennes, assez pour estre messaigières,
Et mesmement les anciennes;
Mais, soient Lombardes, Romaines, Genevoises,
À mes perils, Piemontoises, Savoysiennes,
Il n’est bon bec que de Paris.

De beau parler tiennent chayeres,
Ce dit-on Napolitaines,
Et que sont bonnes cacquetières
Allemandes et Bruciennes;
Soient Grecques, Egyptiennes,
De Hongrie ou d’aultre païs,
Espaignolles ou Castellannes,
Il n’est bon bec que de Paris.

Brettes, Suysses, n’y sçavent guèrres,
Ne Gasconnes et Tholouzaines;
Du Petit Pont deux harangères les concluront,
Et les Lorraines, Anglesches ou Callaisiennes,
(ay-je beaucoup de lieux compris?)
Picardes, de Valenciennes…
Il n’est bon bec que de Paris.

Prince, aux dames parisiennes,
De bien parler donnez le prix;
Quoy qu’on die d’Italiennes,
Il n’est bon bec que de Paris.

Though we deem Florentine and Venetian women
to be fine talkers, enough so as to be messengers,
as were the ladies of old;
yet, be they Lombardian, Roman, Genovese,
I stand as witness, from Piedmont or Savoy,
only from Paris do they have the gift of the gab.

They hold professorships in fine speech
so they say of Napolitan women,
and that Germans and Prussians
are terrible gossips;
yet be they Greek, Egyptian,
from Hungary or other countries,
Spanish or Castilian,
only from Paris do they have the gift of the gab.

Bretton and Swiss women hardly know anything,
nor do those from Gascony and Toulouse:
two fishwives from Petit Pont would shut them up,
and those from Lorraine, England or Calais,
(have I included many places?)
those from Picardy, from Valenciennes;
only from Paris do they have the gift of the gab.

Prince, give the prize for speaking well
to the Parisian women;
whatever they may say of Italian women,
only from Paris do they have the gift of the gab.

Baudelaire was the poet for Harmonie du soir

Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige,
Chaque fleur s’évapore ainsi qu’un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige.

Chaque fleur s’évapore ainsi qu’un encensoir,
Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu’on afflige,
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige,
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;

Le violon frémit comme un coeur qu’on afflige,
Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir;
Le soleil s’est noyé dans son sang qui se fige…

Un coeur tendre, qui hait le néant vaste et noir,
Du passé lumineux recueille tout vestige.
Le soleil s’est noyé dans son sang qui se fige, -
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir.

Here come the moments when, quivering on its stem,
each flower gives off fragrance like a censer;
the sounds and perfumes circle in the evening air,
a melancholy waltz, a languid dizziness!

Each flower gives off fragrance like a censer;
the violin trembles like a heart in distress,
a melancholy waltz, a languid dizziness!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a vast altar.

The violin trembles like a heart in distress,
a tender heart, which hates the huge, dark void!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a vast altar;
the sun has drowned in its own congealing blood.

A tender heart, which hates the huge, dark void,
gathers up every relic of the harmonious past!
The sun has drowned in its own congealing blood, -
the memory of you shines in me like a monstrance! (a vessel in which the consecrated Host is exposed for the adoration of the faithful)

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