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L'Eau pure du bassin (1901)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Musique de scène pour les Chansons de Bilitis

L'Eau pure du bassin

« Eau pure du bassin, miroir immobile, dis-moi
ma beauté. — Bilitis, ou qui que tu sois,
Téthys peut-être ou Amphritritê, tu es belle,
« Ton visage se penche sous ta chevelure
épaisse, gonflée de fleurs et de parfums. Tes
paupières molles s'ouvrent à peine et tes flancs
sont las des mouvements de l'amour.
« Ton corps fatigué du poids de tes seins porte
les marques fines de l'ongle et les taches bleues
du baiser. Tes bras sont rougis par l'étreinte.
Chaque ligne de ta peau fut aimée.
— Eau claire du bassin, ta fraîcheur repose.
Reçois-moi, qui suis lasse en effet. Emporte le
fard de mes joues, et la sueur de mon ventre et
le souvenir de la nuit. »

The Pure Water of the Basin

“Pure water of the basin, immobile mirror, tell
me my beauty. – Bilitis, or whoever you are,
Téthys maybe or Amphritritê, know that you
are beautiful.
“Your face tilts beneath your thick hair, full of
flowers and of perfumes. Your soft eyelids
scarcely opened and your hips are weary from
the movements of love.
“Your body tired from the weight of your
breasts carries slight nail marks and the bruises
from lovemaking. Your arms are red from the
embrace. Each line of your skin was loved.
- Clear water of the basin, your freshness rests.
Receive me, who am tired indeed. Carry away
the make-up for my cheeks, and the sweat of
my stomach and the memory of the night.”

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

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