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L'échelonnement des haies (1891) L81

Part of a series or song cycle:

Trois Mélodies sur des poèmes de Paul Verlaine (L81)

L'échelonnement des haies

L’échelonnement des haies
Moutonne à l’infini, mer
Claire dans le brouillard clair
Qui sent bon les jeunes baies.
Des arbres et des moulins
Sont légers sur le vert tendre
Où vient s’ébattre et s’étendre
L’agilité des poulains.
Dans ce vague d’un Dimanche
Voici se jouer aussi
De grandes brebis aussi
Douces que leur laine blanche.
Tout à l’heure déferlait
L’onde, roulée en volutes,
De cloches commes des flûtes
Dans le ciel comme du lait.

The hedgerows stretch out

The hedgerows stretch out
Frothing afar, sea-like
And clear in the cleqar mist,
Fragrant with young berries.
Trees and windmills rise
Insubstantial on the delicate green,
Where agile colts
Come to stretch and frolic.
On this lazy Sunday,
Some large ewes,
Soft as their white wool,
Join them in their play.
Just now there broke
A curling wave
Of flute-like bells
In the milk-white sky.
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-Marie Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, Verlaine was educated at the Lycée Impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France, Emmanuel Chabrier, inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros, the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Théodore de Banville, François Coppée, Jose-Maria de Heredia, Leconte de Lisle, Catulle Mendes and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866), though adversely commented upon by Sainte-Beuve, established him as a poet of promise and originality.

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