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Jane (1881) L19

Jane

Je pâlis et tombe en langueur:
Deux beaux yeux m’ont brisé le cœur.
Rose pourprée et tout humide,
Ce n’était pas sa lèvre en feu;
C’étaient ses yeux d’un si beau bleu
Sous l’or de sa tresse fluide.
Je pâlis et tombe en langueur:
Deux beaux yeux m’ont brisé le cœur.
Toute mon âme fut ravie!
Doux étaient son rire et sa voix;
Mais ses deux yeux bleus, je le vois,
Ont pris mes forces et ma vie!
Je pâlis et tombe en langueur:
Deux beaux yeux m’ont brisé le cœur.
Hélas! la chose est bien certaine:
Si Jane repousse mon vœu,
Dans ses deux yeux d’un si beau bleu
J’aurai puisé ma mort prochaine.
Je pâlis et tombe en langueur:
Deux beaux yeux m’ont brisé le cœur.

Jane

I grow pale and listless:
two beautiful eyes have broken my heart.
It was not her moist and crimson mouth,
her fiery lips—
it was her eyes of such a lovely blue
beneath the gold of her flowing tresses.
I grow pale and listless:
two beautiful eyes have broken my heart.
All my soul was ravished,
her laughter and her voice were sweet;
but her two blue eyes, I see,
have destroyed my strength and my life.
I grow pale and listless:
two beautiful eyes have broken my heart.
Alas, there can be no doubt:
if Jane rejects my suit,
I shall seek imminent death
in her two eyes of such beautiful blue.
I grow pale and listless:
two beautiful eyes have broken my heart.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Poet

Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle was a French poet of the Parnassian movement. He is traditionally known by his surname only, Leconte de Lisle.

 

Leconte de Lisle was born on the French overseas island of La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. He spent his childhood there and later in Brittany. Among his friends in those years was the musician Charles Bénézit. His father, an army surgeon, who brought him up with great severity, sent him to travel in the East Indies with a view to preparing him for a business career. However, after returning from this journey, the young man preferred to complete his education in Rennes, Britanny, specializing in Greek, Italian and history. In 1845 he settled definitively in Paris.

He was involved in the French Revolution of 1848 which ended with the overthrow of the Orleans King Louis-Philppe of France, but took no further part in politics after the Second Republic was declared.

As a writer he is most famous for his three collections of poetry: Poèmes antiques (1852), Poèmes barbares (1862), Poèmes tragiques (1884). He is also known for his translations of Ancient Greek tragedians and poets, such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Horace.

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


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