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L’Allée est sans fin (1890)

L’Allée est sans fin

L'allée est sans fin
Sous le ciel, divin
D'être pâle ainsi:
Sais-tu qu'on serait
Bien sous le secret
De ces arbres-ci?
Le château, tout blanc
Avec, à son flanc,
Le soleil couché,
Les champs à l'entour:
Oh! que notre amour
N'est-il là niché!

The path is endless

The path is endless
Beneath the sky, divine
In being so pale:
Do you know how at ease
We could be
Beneath the secret of these trees?
The castle, all white,
Flanked by
The sun now set,
Encircled by fields:
Oh! that our love
Were hidden there!
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

Reynaldo Hahn was a French composer, conductor and music critic. He moved to France at the age of three from Venezuela. 

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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.

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