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Action des grâces (1936)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Poèmes pour Mi

Action des grâces

Le ciel
Et l'eau qui suit les variations des nuages,
Et la terre, et les montagnes qui attendent toujours,
Et la lumière qui transforme.
Et un oeil près de mon oeil, une pensée près de ma pensée,
Et un visage qui sourit et pleure avec le mien,
Et deux pieds derrière mes pieds
Comme la vague à la vague est unie.
Et une âme,
Invisible, pleine d'amour et d'immortalité,
Et un vêtement de chair et d'os qui germera pour la résurrection,
Et la Vérité, et l'Esprit, et la grâce avec son héritage de lumière.
Tout cela, vous me l'avez donné.
Et vous vous êtes encore donné vous-même,
Dans l'obéissance et dans le sang de votre Croix,
Et dans un Pain plus doux que la fraîcheur des étoiles,
Mon Dieu.
Alleluia, alleluia.


And water, following the changes of cloud,
And earth, and mountains, ever waiting,
And light, transforming.
And an eye close to my eye, a thought close to my thought,
And a face that smiles and weeps with mine
And two feet behind my feet
As wave to wave is joined.
And a soul,
Invisible, full of love and immortality,
And garments of flesh and bone to germinate for the resurrection,
And Truth, and Spirit, and Grace with its luminous heritage.
All that, you have given me.
And you have given yourself too,
In the obedience and the blood of your Cross
In Bread sweeter than the coolness of stars,
My God.
Alleluia, alleluia.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)


Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

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