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Songs

Le Galop (1869)

Le Galop

Agite, bon cheval, ta crinière fuyante;
Que l’air autour de nous se remplisse de voix!
Que j’entende craquer sous ta corne bruyante
Le gravier des ruisseaux et les débris des bois!
Aux vapeurs de tes flancs mêle ta chaude haleine,
Aux éclairs de tes pieds ton écume et ton sang!
Cours, comme on voit un aigle en effleurant la plaine
Fouetter l’herbe d’un vol sonore et frémissant.
'Allons, les jeunes gens, à la nage! à la nage!'
Crie à ses cavaliers le vieux chef de tribu,
Et les fils du désert respirent le pillage,
Et les chevaux sont fous du grand air qu’ils ont bu!
Nage ainsi dans l’espace, ô mon cheval rapide.
Abreuve-moi d’air pur, baigne-moi dans le vent.
L’étrier bat ton ventre, et j’ai lâché la bride,
Mon corps te touche à peine, il vole en te suivant.
Brise tout, le buisson, la barrière ou la branche;
Torrents, fossés, talus, franchis tout d’un seul bond;
Cours, je rêve et sur toi, les yeux clos, je me penche...
Emporte, emporte-moi dans l’inconnu profond!

The gallop

Flourish, good horse, your flying mane,
That the air about us be filled with voices!
That beneath your clattering hooves I hear
The gravel of streams and the woods' broken boughs!
Mingle your hot breath with the steam of your flanks,
Your foam and your blood with the sparks from your hooves!
Run, like an eagle we see skimming the plain,
Lashing the grass with its quivering loud wings!
'Come, young men, swim your horses across!'
Cries the old tribal chief to his horsemen;
And the sons of the desert are eager for plunder,
And the horses are crazed with the air they have drunk!
Swim thus in space, O my swift mount,
Quench my thirst with pure air, bathe me in wind;
The stirrup strikes your belly, I've slackened the rein,
My body scarcely touches you, it flies in your wake.
Break down everything, bush, gate, or branch;
Cross torrent, ditch, embankment with a single bound;
Race on, I dream, bending over you with closed eyes...
Transport me, transport me to the deep unknown!

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Composer

Eugène Marie Henri Fouques Duparc (21 January 1848 – 12 February 1933) was a French composer of the late Romantic period.

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Poet

René François Armand (Sully) Prudhomme was a French poet and essayist, and was the first ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901.

Born in Paris, Prudhomme originally studied to be an engineer, but turned to philosophy and later to poetry; he declared it as his intent to create scientific poetry for modern times. In character sincere and melancholic, he was linked to the Parnassus school, although, at the same time, his work displays characteristics of its own.

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