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Songs

Songs

Chant pastoral (1901)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Musique de scène pour les Chansons de Bilitis


Chant pastoral

Il faut chanter un chant pastoral, invoquer Pan,
dieu du vent d'été.
Je garde mon troupeau et Sélénis le sien, à
l'ombre ronde d'un olivier qui tremble.
Sélénis est couchée sur le pré.
Elle se lève et court, ou cherche des cigales, ou
cueille des fleurs avec des herbes, ou lave son
visage dans l'eau fraîche du ruisseau.
Moi, j'arrache la laine au dos blond des
moutons pour en garnir ma quenouille, et je
file. Les heures sont lentes.
Un aigle passe dans le ciel.
L'ombre tourne, changeons de place la
corbeille de figues et la jarre de lait.
Il faut chanter un chant pastoral, invoquer Pan,
dieu du vent d'été.

Pastoral Song

One must sing a pastoral song, invoke Pan,
god of the summer wind.
I watch my herd and Selenis hers, under the
round shade of the trembling olive tree.
Sélénis lies in the meadow. She rises and runs
or looks for grasshoppers, or gathers flowers
with the grass, or washes her face in the fresh
water of the stream.
Me, I pull the wool from the blond backs of the
sheep to stock my distaff and I spin.
The hours are slow.
An eagle passes in the sky.
The shadow turns, let’s move the basket of figs
and the jar of milk. One must sing a pastoral
song, invoke Pan, god of the summer wind.

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Composer

(Achille) Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Poet

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

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