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Songs

La Partie d'osselets (1901)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Musique de scène pour les Chansons de Bilitis


La Partie d'osselets

Comme nous l'aimions toutes les deux, nous
l'avons joué aux osselets. Et ce fut une partie
célèbre. Beaucoup de jeunes filles y
assistaient.
Elle amena d'abord le coup des Kyklôpes, et
moi, le coup de Solôn. Mais elle, le Kallibolos,
et moi, me sentant perdue, je priais la déesse!
Je jouai, j'eus l'Epiphénôn, elle le terrible coup
de Khios, moi l'Antiteukhos, elle le Trikhias, et
moi le coup d'Aphroditê qui gagna l'amant
disputé.
Mais la voyant pâlir, je la pris par le cou et je
lui dis tout près de l'oreille (pour qu'elle seule
m'entendit): « Ne pleure pas, petite amie, nous
le laisserons choisir entre nous. »

The Games of Jacks

As we both loved him, we played for him with
jacks. And this was a famous match. Many
girls watched.
She began first with the stroke of Kyklôpes,
and I, the stroke of Solon. But she the
Kallibolos, and I feeling lost, I prayed to the
goddess.
I played, I had Epiphénon, she the terrible
stroke of Khios, me the Antiteukhos, she the
Trikhias, and me the stroke of Aphroditê
which won the contested lover.
But seeing her turn pale, I took her by the neck
and I told her very close to her ear so only she
heard me: “Don’t cry, my little friend, we will
let him choose between us.”

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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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