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Le papillon et la fleur (1869) Op.1 no.1

Le papillon et la fleur

La pauvre fleur disait au papillon céleste:
Ne fuis pas!
Vois comme nos destins sont différents. Je reste,
Tu t’en vas!
Pourtant nous nous aimons, nous vivons sans les hommes
Et loin d’eux,
Et nous nous ressemblons, et l’on dit que nous sommes
Fleurs tous deux!
Mais, hélas! l’air t’emporte et la terre m’enchaîne.
Sort cruel!
Je voudrais embaumer ton vol de mon haleine
Dans le ciel!
Mais non, tu vas trop loin! – Parmi des fleurs sans nombre
Vous fuyez,
Et moi je reste seule à voir tourner mon ombre
À mes pieds.
Tu fuis, puis tu reviens; puis tu t’en vas encore
Luire ailleurs.
Aussi me trouves-tu toujours à chaque aurore
Toute en pleurs!
Oh! pour que notre amour coule des jours fidèles,
Ô mon roi,
Prends comme moi racine, ou donne-moi des ailes
Comme à toi!

The butterfly and the flower

The humble flower said to the heavenly butterfly:
Do not flee!
See how our destinies differ. Fixed to earth am I,
You fly away!
Yet we love each other, we live without men
And far from them,
And we are so alike, it is said that both of us
Are flowers!
But alas! The breeze bears you away, the earth holds me fast.
Cruel fate!
I would perfume your flight with my fragrant breath
In the sky!
But no, you flit too far! Among countless flowers
You fly away,
While I remain alone, and watch my shadow circle
Round my feet.
You fly away, then return; then take flight again
To shimmer elsewhere.
And so you always find me at each dawn
Bathed in tears!
Ah, that our love might flow through faithful days,
O my king,
Take root like me, or give me wings
Like yours!
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

Composer

 

​"Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style." (Wikipedia)

For more information about the life and work of Gabriel Fauré please see the Wikipedia article here.


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Poet

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry and then from his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French franc banknotes.

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


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