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Le Colibri (1880) Op. 2 no.7

Le Colibri

Le vert colibri, le roi des collines,
Voyant la rosée et le soleil clair
Luire dans son nid tissé d'herbes fines,
Corme lm frais rayon s'échappe dans l'air.
II se hâte et vole aux sources voisines,
Ou les bambous font le bruit de la mer,
Ou I' aoka rouge aux odeurs divines
S'ouvre et porte au cœur un humide éclair.
Vers la fleur dorée il descend, se pose,
Et boit tant d'amour dans la coupe rose
Qu'il meurt, ne sachant s'il l'a pu tarir.
Sur ta lèvre pure, o ma bien-aimée,
Telle aussi mon âme eut voulu mourir,
Du premier baiser qui l'a parfumée.

The Hummingbird

The green humming-bird, the king of the hills,
On seeing the dew and gleaming sun
Shine in his nest of fine woven grass,
Darts into the air like a shaft of light.
He hurries and flies to the nearby springs
Where the bamboos sound like the sea,
Where the red hibiscus with its heavenly scent
Unveils the glint of dew at its heart.
He descends, and settles on the golden flower,
Drinks so much love from the rosy cup
That he dies, not knowing if he’d drunk it dry.
On your pure lips, O my beloved,
My own soul too wold sooner have died
From that first kiss which scented it!

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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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Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle was a French poet of the Parnassian movement. He is traditionally known by his surname only, Leconte de Lisle.


Leconte de Lisle was born on the French overseas island of La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean. He spent his childhood there and later in Brittany. Among his friends in those years was the musician Charles Bénézit. His father, an army surgeon, who brought him up with great severity, sent him to travel in the East Indies with a view to preparing him for a business career. However, after returning from this journey, the young man preferred to complete his education in Rennes, Britanny, specializing in Greek, Italian and history. In 1845 he settled definitively in Paris.

He was involved in the French Revolution of 1848 which ended with the overthrow of the Orleans King Louis-Philppe of France, but took no further part in politics after the Second Republic was declared.

As a writer he is most famous for his three collections of poetry: Poèmes antiques (1852), Poèmes barbares (1862), Poèmes tragiques (1884). He is also known for his translations of Ancient Greek tragedians and poets, such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Horace.

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