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Crépuscule (1872)


Comme un rideau sous la blancheur
De leurs pétales rapprochées,
Les lys ont enfermé leur cœur,
Les coccinelles sont couchées.
Et jusqu'au rayon matinal,
Au cœur même des lys cachées,
Comme en un rêve virginal
Les coccinelles sont couchées.
Les lys ne dorment qu'un moment;
Veux-tu pas que, têtes penchées,
Nous causions amoureusement?
Les coccinelles sont couchées.


Like a curtain beneath the paleness
Of their close-set petals,
The lilies have closed their heart,
The ladybirds have retired for the night.
And until bright morning dawns
The ladybirds have remained abed
At the very heart of the hidden lilies,
As if in a virginal dream.
Lilies only sleep for a moment;
Do you not wish that, with lowered heads,
We might talk lovingly?
The ladybirds are abed.

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Jules Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon and Werther.

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Paul-Armand Silvestre, French poet and conteur, was born in Paris.

He studied at the École polytechnique with the intention of entering the army, but in 1870 he entered the department of finance. He had a successful official career, was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1886, and in 1892 was made inspector of fine arts. Armand Silvestre made his entry into literature as a poet, and was reckoned among the Parnassians.

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