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Siciliènne (1845)


Fleurs qu'adore
La beauté,
Ciel que dore
La gaîté,
Loin des villes
Frais asiles,
Flots tranquilles
C'est l'été!
Lune pleine,
Mer qui luit,
Tiède haleine
Qui la suit.
Sous la treille,
Douce veille,
Sans pareille:
C'est la nuit!
Feu qui dore
Tout séjour
Et dévore
Chaque jour,
Deuil et fête,
Dans la tête
Du poète :
C'est l'amour!


Flowers adorned
By beauty,
Sky gilded
By gaiety,
Far from towns,
Fresh shelters,
Peaceful waves,
This is summer.
Full moon,
Gleaming sea,
Warm breath
Which follows it.
Beneath the vine-arbour,
We sweetly
And peerlessly lie in wait:
This is night.
Fire which gilds
Every home
And consumes
Each day.
Mourning and celebration
In the head
Of the poet:
This is love.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German opera composer of Jewish birth who has been described as perhaps the most successful stage composer of the nineteenth century.

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