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Beau Soir (1880) L6

Beau Soir

Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses,
Et qu’un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé,
Un conseil d’être heureux semble sortir des choses
Et monter vers le cœur troublé;
Un conseil de goûter le charme d’être au monde
Cependant qu’on est jeune et que le soir est beau,
Car nous nous en allons, comme s’en va cette onde:
Elle à la mer—nous au tombeau!

Beautiful evening

When at sunset the rivers are pink
And a warm breeze ripples the fields of wheat,
All things seem to advise content -
And rise toward the troubled heart;
Advise us to savour the gift of life,
While we are young and the evening fair,
For our life slips by, as that river does:
It to the sea - we to the tomb.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

(Achille) Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Poet

Paul Charles Joseph Bourget was a French novelist and critic. 


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