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Les lilas qui avaient fleuri (1914)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Clairières dans le ciel


Les lilas qui avaient fleuri

Les lilas qui avaient fleuri l’année dernière
vont fleurir de nouveau dans les tristes parterres.
Déjà le pêcher grêle a jonché le ciel bleu
de ses roses, comme un enfant la Fête-Dieu.
Mon cœur devrait mourir au milieu de ces choses
car c’était au milieu des vergers blancs et roses
que j’avais espéré je ne sais quoi de vous.
Mon âme rêve sourdement sur vos genoux.
Ne la repoussez point. Ne la relevez pas
de peur qu’en s’éloignant de vous elle ne voie
combien vous êtes faible et troublée dans ses bras.

The lilacs which had flowered last year

The lilacs which had flowered last year
shall flower again in melancholy beds.
Already the slender peach has strewn the blue sky
with its pinks, like a child at Corpus Christi.
My heart should die amid these things,
for it was amid the orchard’s whites and pinks
that I had hoped from you I know not what.
My soul dreams secretly upon your lap.
Do not reject it. Do not raise it up,
for fear that drawing away from you it might see
how frail you are and troubled in its arms.
Translation © Richard Stokes author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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Composer

Marie-Juliette Olga Boulanger was a French composer, and the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize. Her older sister was the noted composer and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.


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