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Trois jours de vendagne (1891)

Trois jours de vendagne

Je l’ai rencontrée un jour de vendange,
La jupe troussée et le pied mignon,
Point de guimpe jaune et point de chignon,
L’air d’une bacchante et les yeux d’un ange.
Suspendue au bras d’un doux compagnon,
Je l’ai rencontrée aux champs d’Avignon,
Un jour de vendange.
Je l’ai rencontrée un jour de vendange,
La plaine était morne et le ciel brûlant.
Elle marchait seule et d’un pas tremblant,
Son regard brillait d’une flamme étrange …
Je frissonne encore en me rappelant
Comme je te vis, cher fantôme blanc,
Un jour de vendange.
Je l’ai rencontrée un jour de vendange,
Et j’en rêve encore presque tous les jours:
Le cercueil était couvert en velours,
Le drap noir portait une double frange.
Les sœurs d’Avignon pleuraient tout autour.
La vigne avait trop de raisin …
L’Amour avait fait la vendange.

Three days of vintaging

During the vintage I met her one day,
Skirt tucked in, dainty feet,
No yellow veil, no coiled-up hair,
A maenad with an angel’s eyes,
Leaning on a sweet friend’s arm.
I met her at Avignon in the fields,
During the vintage one day.
During the vintage I met her one day,
The plain was bleak and the sky ablaze.
She was walking alone, with faltering steps.
Her face was lit by a curious glow …
I still shudder as I remember
How I saw you, dear white spectre,
During the vintage one day.
During the vintage I met her one day,
And still almost daily I dream of it:
The coffin draped in velvet,
The black shroud with its double fringe.
The Avignon nuns wept all around it!
The vine had too many grapes …
Love had gathered its harvest.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

Reynaldo Hahn was a French composer, conductor and music critic. He moved to France at the age of three from Venezuela. 

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Poet

Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. 


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