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Regret (1885) L55


Devant le ciel d’été, tiède et calmé,
Je me souviens de toi comme d’un songe,
Et mon regret fidèle aime et prolonge
Les heures où j’étais aimé.
Les astres brilleront dans la nuit noire;
Le soleil brillera dans le jour clair;
Quelque chose de toi flotte dans l’air,
Qui me pénètre la mémoire.
Quelque chose de toi qui fut à moi:
Car j’ai possédé tout de ta pensée,
Et mon âme, trahie et délaissée,
Est encor tout entière à toi.


Beneath the summer sky, warm and becalmed,
I remember you as in a dream,
And my faithful regret loves and prolongs
The hours when I was loved.
The stars will shine in the black night;
The sun will shine in the bright day;
Something of you hovers in the air,
Penetrating my memory.
Something of you that was mine:
For I once filled all your thoughts,
And my soul, betrayed and abandoned,
Is still entirely yours.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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(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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Paul Charles Joseph Bourget was a French novelist and critic. 

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