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Songs

Dans le jardin (1891) L78

Dans le jardin

Je regardais dans le jardin,
Furtif, au travers de la haie;
Je t’ai vue, enfant! et soudain,
Mon cœur tressaillit: je t’aimais!
Je m’égratignais aux épines,
Mes doigts saignaient avec les mûres,
Et ma souffrance était divine;
Je voyais ton front de gamine,
Tes cheveux d’or et ton front pur!
Grandette et pourtant puérile,
Coquette d’instinct seulement,
Les yeux bleus ombrés de longs cils,
Qui regardent tout gentiment,
Un corps un peu frêle et charmant,
Une voix de mai, des gestes d’avril!
Je regardais dans le jardin,
Furtif, au travers de la haie;
Je t’ai vue, enfant! et soudain,
Mon cœur tressaillit: je t’aimais!

In the garden

I peered into the garden,
Furtively, through the hedge;
I saw you, my child! and suddenly
My heart quivered: I loved you!
I scratched myself on the thorns,
My fingers bled from the mulberries,
And my suffering was divine;
I saw your gamine face,
Your golden hair and your pure forehead!
A young girl and yet boyish,
Flirtatious by instinct alone,
Your blue eyes, shadowed with long lashes,
Glanced most prettily,
Your body—somewhat frail and charming,
The voice of May, the gestures of April!
I peered into the garden,
Furtively, through the hedge;
I saw you, my child! and suddenly
My heart quivered: I loved you!
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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