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Cantique a l’épouse (1898) Op. 36 no.1

Cantique a l’épouse

Épouse au front lumineux,
Voici que le soir descend
Et qu'il jette dans tes yeux
Des rayons couleur de sang.
Le crépuscule féerique
T'environne d'un feu rose,
Viens me chanter un cantique
Beau comme une sombre rose.
Ou plutôt ne chante pas,
Viens te coucher sur mon cœur,
Laisse-moi baiser tes bras
Pales comme l'aube en fleur.
La nuit de tes yeux m'attire.
Nuit frémissante, mystique,
Douce comme ton sourire
Heureux et mélancolique.
Et soudain la profondeur
Du passé religieux,
Le mystère et la grandeur
De notre amour sérieux
S'ouvre au fond de nos pensées
Comme une vallée immense
Où des forêts délaissées
Rêvent dans un grand silence…

Song in praise of a wife

Wife with the luminous brow,
Evening now descends
And casts into your eyes
Blood-red rays of light.
The magical dusk
Surrounds you in a pink glow,
Come sing to me a song
Beautiful as a dark rose.
Or rather do not sing,
Come lie on my heart,
Let me kiss your arms
Pale as the blossoming dawn.
The night of your eyes entices me,
Thrilling, mystical night.
Sweet as your happy
And melancholy smile.
And suddenly the depth
Of the devout past,
The mystery and grandeur
Of our true love
Unfolds at the heart of our thoughts,
Like an immense valley
Where deserted forests
Dream in a great silence.


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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