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Le temps des lilas (1886)

Le temps des lilas

Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses
Ne reviendra plus à ce printemps-ci;
Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses
Est passé, le temps des œillets aussi.
Le vent a changé, les cieux sont moroses,
Et nous n’irons plus courir, et cueillir
Les lilas en fleur et les belles roses;
Le printemps est triste et ne peut fleurir.
Oh! joyeux et doux printemps de l’année,
Qui vins, l’an passé, nous ensoleiller,
Notre fleur d’amour est si bien fanée,
Las! Que ton baiser ne peut l’éveiller!
Et toi, que fais-tu? pas de fleurs écloses,
Point de gai soleil ni d’ombrages frais;
Le temps des lilas et le temps des roses
Avec notre amour est mort à jamais.

Lilac time

The time for lilac and the time for roses
Will return no more this spring;
The time for lilac and the time for roses
Is past, the time for carnations too.
The wind has changed, the skies are sullen,
And no longer shall we roam to gather
The flowering lilac and beautiful rose;
The spring is sad and cannot bloom.
Oh sweet and joyous springtime
That came last year to bathe us in sun,
Our flower of love is so far faded,
That your kiss, alas, cannot rouse it!
And what do you do? No blossoming flowers,
No bright sun, and no cool shade;
The time for lilac and the time for roses
With our love has perished for evermore.
Translation © Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Amédée-Ernest Chausson was a French romantic composer. From 1886 until his death in 1899, Chausson was secretary of the Société Nationale de Musique, met with a number of notable figures during his short lifetime, including the composers Henri Duparc, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, and Isaac Albéniz, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, and the impressionist painter Claude Monet. He died at the age of 44 in bicycle accident.

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Maurice Bouchor was a French poet.

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