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Chanson romanesque (1932)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

Chanson romanesque

Si vous me disiez que la terre
À tant tourner vous offensa,
Je lui dépêcherais Pança:
Vous la verriez fixe et se taire.
Si vous me disiez que l'ennui
Vous vient du ciel trop fleuri d'astres,
Déchirant les divins cadastres,
Je faucherais d'un coup la nuit.
Si vous me disiez que l'espace
Ainsi vidé ne vous plaît point,
Chevalier dieu, la lance au poing.
J'étoilerais le vent qui passe.
Mais si vous disiez que mon sang
Est plus à moi qu'à vous, ma Dame,
Je blêmirais dessous le blâme
Et je mourrais, vous bénissant.
Ô Dulcinée.

Romantic song

Were you to tell that the earth
Offended you with so much turning,
I'd dispatch Panza to deal with it:
You'd see it still and silenced.
Were you to tell me that you are wearied
By a sky too studded with stars -
Tearing the divine order asunder,
I'd scythe the night with a single blow.
Were you to tell me that space itself,
Thus denuded was not to your taste -
As a god-like knight, with lance in hand,
I'd sow the fleeting wind with stars.
But were you to tell me that my blood
Is more mine, my Lady, than your own,
I'd pale at the admonishment
And, blessing you, would die.
O Dulcinea.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor.  In the 1920s and 1930s he was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer. He was one of the first composers to acknowledge the potential of recording in making music accessible to a broad public, and in the 1920s several recordings of his work were made.

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