Clair de lune (poem)

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"Clair de lune" (English "Moonlight") is a French poem written by Paul Verlaine in 1869. It is the inspiration for the third and most famous movement of Claude Debussy's 1890 Suite bergamasque. Debussy also made two settings of the poem for voice and piano accompaniment. The poem has also been set to music by Gabriel Fauré and Josef Szulc.

Text[edit]

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.[1]

Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masquerades and dancers are promenading,
Playing the lute and dancing, and almost
Sad beneath their fantastic disguises.

While singing in a minor key
Of victorious love, and the pleasant life
They seem not to believe in their own happiness
And their song blends with the moonlight,

With the sad and beautiful moonlight,
Which sets the birds in the trees dreaming,
And makes the fountains sob with ecstasy,
The slender water streams among the marble statues.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Excerpt, One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, a bilingual edition, translated by Norman R. Shapiro (1998)". www.press.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-08.

External links[edit]