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Villanelle (1921)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Vieilles chansons


Villanelle

Quand viendra la saison nouvelle,
Quand auront disparu les froids,
Tous les deux, nous irons, ma belle,
Pour cueillir le muguet au bois;
Sous nos pieds égrénant les perles
Que l'on voit, au matin trembler,
Nous irons écouter les merles
Siffler.
Le printemps est venu, ma belle;
C'est le mois des amants béni;
Et l'oiseau, satinant son aile,
Dit des vers au rebord du nid.
Oh ! viens donc sur le banc de mousse
Pour parler de nos beaux amours,
Et dis-moi de ta voix si douce:
«Toujours !»
Loin, bien loin égarant nos courses,
Faisons fuir le lapin caché,
Et le daim au miroir des sources
Admirant son grand bois penché ;
Puis chez nous tout joyeux, tout aises,
En paniers, enlaçant nos doigts,
Revenons rapportant des fraises
Des bois.

Villanelle

When the new season comes,
When the cold has gone,
We two will go, my sweet,
To gather lilies-of-the-valley in the woods;
Scattering as we tread the pearls of dew
We see quivering each morn,
We’ll go and hear the blackbirds
Sing!
Spring has come, my sweet;
It is the season lovers bless,
And the birds, preening their wings,
Sing songs from the edge of their nests.
Ah! Come, then, to this mossy bank
To talk of our beautiful love,
And tell me in your gentle voice:
Forever!
Far, far away we’ll stray from our path,
Startling the rabbit from his hiding-place
And the deer reflected in the spring,
Admiring his great lowered antlers;
Then home we’ll go, serene and at ease,
And entwining our fingers basket-like,
We’ll bring back home wild
Strawberries!

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Composer

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. A musical prodigy, he gave his first concert at only 10 years old, before studying at the Paris Conservatoire.

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Poet

Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic.

While Gautier was an ardent defender of Romanticism, his work is difficult to classify and remains a point of reference for many subsequent literary traditions such as Parnassianism, Symbolism, Decadence and Modernism. He was widely esteemed by writers as diverse as Balzac, Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Flaubert, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Henry James, Proust and Oscar Wilde.

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