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Hymne à Astarté Op. 39

Part of a series or song cycle:

Chansons de Bilitis (Op. 39)

Hymne à Astarté

Mère inépuisable, incorruptible, créatrice,
née la première, engendrée par toi-même,
conçue de toi-même, issue de toi seule
et qui te réjouis en toi, Astarté !
O perpétuellement fécondée,
ô vierge et nourrice de tout, chaste et désireuse,
pure et jouissante, ineffable, nocturne,
douce, respiratrice du feu, écume de la mer !
Toi qui accordes en secret la grâce,
toi qui unis, toi qui aimes, toi qui saisis
d’un furieux désir les races multipliées
des bêtes sauvages, et joins les sexes dans les forêts.
O Astarté irrésistible, soit que tu imposes la douleur,
soit que tu delivres dans la joie, entends moi,
prends moi, arrache de mon corps bienheureux
les libations sanglantes!

Hymn to Astarte

Inexhaustible, incorruptible, creative mother,
Born of the first mother, begot by yourself,
Conceived by yourself, issued from yourself alone
And who rejoice in yourself, Astarte!
O perpetually impregnated,
O virgin and wet-nurse of all, chaste and desirous,
Pure and orgasmic, ineffable, nocturnal, sweet,
Fire-breathing, foam from the sea!
You who secretly grant favours,
Who join together, who seize
With furious desire the multiplying stock of wild animals,
And cause the sexes in the forest to copulate.
O irresistible Astarte, you who impose pain
Or else deliver in joy, listen to me,
Take me, possess me, wrest bleeding libations
From my contented body!

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Charles Koechlin was a French composer, teacher and writer on music. He was a political radical all his life and a passionate enthusiast for such diverse things as medieval music, Kipling's The Jungle Book, J.S Bach, film stars (especially Lilian Harvey and Ginger Rogers), travel, stereoscopic photography, and socialism. He once said: "The artist needs an ivory tower, not as an escape from the world, but as a place where he can view the world and be himself. This tower is for the artist like a lighthouse shining out across the world."

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Pierre Louÿs was a French poet and writer, best known for his classical themes and sensual style.

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