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Songs

Les Angélus (1891) L76

Les Angélus

Cloches chrétiennes pour les matines,
Sonnant au cœur d’espérer encore!
Angélus angélisés d’aurore!
Las! Où sont vos prières câlines?
Vous étiez de si douces folies!
Et chanterelles d’amours prochaines!
Aujourd’hui souveraine est ma peine,
Et toutes matines abolies.
Je ne vis plus que d’ombre et de soir;
Les las angélus pleurent la mort,
Et là, dans mon cœur résigné, dort
La seule veuve de tout espoir.

The Angelus

Christian matin bells ring out,
Telling the heart to continue to hope!
Angelus bells made angelic with dawn!
Alas, where are your soothing prayers?
You were such a sweet madness!
Harbingers of future loves!
Today, my sorrow reigns supreme
And all matin bells have been abolished.
My whole life is but shadow and evening;
The weary angelus bewails death,
And there, in my resigned heart, sleeps
The only widow of any hope.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of 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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