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Ta voix (1936)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Poèmes pour Mi

Ta voix

Fenêtre pleine d'après-midi,
Qui s'ouvre sur l'après-midi,
Et sur ta voix fraîche
(Oiseau de printemps qui s'éveille).
Si elle s'ouvrait sur l'éternité
Je te verrais plus belle encore.
Tu es la servante du Fils,
Et le Père t'aimerait pour cela.
Sa lumière sans fin tomberait sur tes épaules,
Sa marque sur ton front.
Tu compléterais le nombre des anges incorporels.
A la gloire de la Trinité sainte
Un toujours de bonheur élèverait ta voix fraîche
(Oiseau de printemps qui s'éveille):
Tu chanterais.

Your voice

Window brimming with afternoon,
Opening into the afternoon,
And onto your fresh voice
(Awakening bird of spring).
Were it to open on eternity,
I'd see you fairer yet.
You are the maidservant of the Son,
And for that the Father would love you.
His unending light would fall on your shoulders,
His sign on your brow.
You would complete the number of incorporated angels
To the glory of the Holy Trinity,
A joyous ever-after would raise up your fresh voice
(Awakening bird of spring)
You would sing.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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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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