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Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés en pure perte (1921) Op. 118 no.4


Part of a series or song cycle:

L’horizon chimérique (Op. 118)


Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés en pure perte

Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés en pure perte;
Le dernier de vous tous est parti sur la mer.
Le couchant emporta tant de voiles ouvertes
Que ce port et mon cœur sont à jamais déserts.
La mer vous a rendus à votre destinée,
Au delà du rivage où s’arrêtent nos pas.
Nous ne pouvions garder vos âmes enchaînées;
Il vous faut des lointains que je ne connais pas.
Je suis de ceux dont les désirs sont sur la terre.
Le souffle qui vous grise emplit mon cœur d’effroi,
Mais votre appel, au fond des soirs, me désespère,
Car j’ai de grands départs inassouvis en moi.

Ships, we shall have loved you to no avail

Ships, we shall have loved you to no avail,
The last of you all has set sail on the sea.
The sunset bore away so many spread sails,
That this port and my heart are forever forsaken.
The sea has returned you to your destiny,
Beyond the shores where our steps must halt.
We could not keep your souls enchained,
You require distant realms unknown to me.
I belong to those with earthbound desires.
The wind that elates you fills me with fright,
But your summons at nightfall makes me despair,
For within me are vast, unappeased departures.
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

 

​"Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style." (Wikipedia)

For more information about the life and work of Gabriel Fauré please see the Wikipedia article here.


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Poet

ean de La Ville de Mirmont was a French poet who died at the age of 27 defending his country during World War I, at Verneuil.

Jean de La Ville de Mirmont was born into a Protestant Bordeaux family to Henri and Sophie Malan. He was one of six siblings. His father Henri was a professor of literature known for his translation of Cicero as well as an alderman for Bordeaux.

At the age of 22, Jean moved to Paris, where he renewed his childhood friendship with François Mauriac (the latter was to recall the former frequently, most notably in La Rencontre avec Barrès, 1945). Jean held a government post at the prefectory of the Seine where he was responsible for assisting the elderly. In 1914, he was called to the front with the rank of sergeant of the 57th Infantry Regiment. He died buried by a shell explosion on the 28 November of the same year, on Chemin des Dames.

His body was exhumed and reinterred by his family in 1920. It rests in the family tomb H.42 at the Protestant Cemetery of rue Judaïque at Bordeaux.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full Wikipedia article please click here.


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