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Attente (1910)


Mon âme a joint ses mains étranges
À l'horizon de mes regards ;
Exaucez mes rêves épars
Entre les lèvres de vos anges!
En attendant sous mes yeux las,
Et sa bouche ouverte aux prières
Éteintes entre mes paupières
Et dont les lys n'éclosent pas ;
Elle apaise au fond de mes songes,
Ses seins effeuillés sous mes cils,
Et ses yeux clignent aux périls
Éveillés au fil des mensonges.


My soul has folded its strange hands
On the horizon of my gaze;
Satisfy my scattered dreams
Between the lips of your angels!
Waiting beneath my weary eyes,
Mouth open in prayers
Extinguished behind my eyelids
Whose lilies never open;
My soul brings peace to the depths of my dreams,
Its breasts bared beneath my lashes
And its eyes blink at the perils
Awoken through the thread of lies.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Marie-Juliette Olga Boulanger was a French composer, and the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize. Her older sister was the noted composer and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.

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Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who was a Fleming, but wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911 "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations". The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.

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

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