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J'allais par des chemins perfides (1894) Op.61 no.4


Part of a series or song cycle:

La bonne chanson (Op.61)


J'allais par des chemins perfides

J'allais par les chemins perfides,
Douloureusement incertain.
Vos chères mains furent mes guides.
Si pâle à l'horizon lointain
Luisait un faible espoir d'aurore;
Votre regard fut le matin.
Nul bruit, sinon son pas sonore,
N'encourageait le voyageur.
Votre voix me dit: "Marche encore!"
Mon coeur craintif, mon sombre coeur
Pleurait, seul, sur la triste voie;
L'amour, délicieux vainqueur,
Nous a réunis dans la joie.

I walked along treacherous ways

I walked along treacherous ways,
Painfully uncertain.
Your dear hands guided me.
So pale on the far horizon
A faint hope of dawn was gleaming;
Your gaze was the morning.
No sound, save his own footfall,
Encouraged the traveller.
Your voice said: 'Walk on!'
My fearful heart, my heavy heart,
Wept, lonely along the sad road;
Love, that charming conqueror,
Has united us in joy.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Composer

 

​"Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style." (Wikipedia)

For more information about the life and work of Gabriel Fauré please see the Wikipedia article here.


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Poet

Paul-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866), though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


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