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Les cloches (1891) L65


Part of a series or song cycle:

Deux Romances (L65)


Les cloches

Les feuilles s’ouvraient sur le bord des branches,
Délicatement.
Les cloches tintaient, légères et franches,
Dans le ciel clément.
Rythmique et fervent comme une antienne,
Ce lointain appel
Me remémorait la blancheur chrétienne
Des fleurs de l’autel.
Ces cloches parlaient d’heureuses années,
Et, dans le grand bois,
Semblaient reverdir les feuilles fanées
Des jours d’autrefois.

The Bells

The leaves opened upon the edge of the branches,
Delicately.
The bells rang, light and free,
In the clear sky.
Rhythmically and fervently, like an antiphon,
This distant call
Reminded me of the Christian whiteness
Of altar flowers.
These bells told of happy years,
And, in the great forest,
Seemed to revive the withered leaves
Of days gone by.
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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Poet

Paul Charles Joseph Bourget was a French novelist and critic. 


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