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Songs

Songs

Harmonie du soir (1889)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire


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 cœur qu’on afflige ;
Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige !
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.
Le violon frémit comme un cœur qu’on afflige
Un cœur 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 cœur 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!

Evening harmony

Now comes the time when, quivering on its stem,
Each flower sheds perfume like a censer;
Sounds and scents turn in the evening air;
Melancholy waltz and reeling languor!
Each flower sheds perfume like a censer;
The violin throbs like a wounded heart,
Melancholy waltz and reeling languor!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a great altar.
The violin throbs like a wounded heart,
A fond heart that loathes the vast black void!
The sky is sad and beautiful like a great altar.
The sun has drowned in its congealing blood.
A fond heart that loathes the vast black void
And garners in all the luminous past!
The sun has drowned in its congealing blood...
Your memory within me shines like a monstrance!
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Poet

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe.

His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.

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


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