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L'enlèvement (Si tu veux, faisons un rêve) (1865)

L'enlèvement (Si tu veux, faisons un rêve)

Si tu veux, faisons un rêve :
Montons sur deux palefrois;
Tu m'emmènes, je t'enlève.
L'oiseau chante dans les bois.
Je suis ton maître et ta proie;
Partons ! c'est la fin du jour;
Mon cheval sera la joie,
Ton cheval sera l'amour.
Viens ! nos doux chevaux mensonges
Frappent du pied tous les deux,
Le mien au fond de mes songes,
Et le tien au fond des cieux.
Un bagage est nécessaire;
Nous emporterons nos vœux,
Nos bonheurs, notre misère,
Et la fleur de tes cheveux.
Viens, le soir brunit les chênes;
Le moineau rit; ce moqueur
Entend le doux bruit des chaînes
Que tu m'as mises au cœur.
Ce ne sera point ma faute
Si les forêts et les monts,
En nous voyant côte à côte,
Ne murmurent pas : “Aimons !”
Allons-nous en par l'Autriche !
Nous aurons l'aube à nos fronts;
Je serai grand, et toi riche,
Puisque nous nous aimerons !
Allons-nous en par la terre,
Sur nos deux chevaux charmants,
Dans l'azur, dans le mystère,
Dans les éblouissements !
Tu seras dame, et moi comte;
Viens, mon cœur s'épanouit;
Viens, nous conterons ce conte
Aux étoiles de la nuit.

The abduction

If you wish, let us dream:
Let us mount two palfreys;
You shall lead the way, I shall carry you off.
The bird sings in the forests.
I am your master and your quarry;
Let us depart! Day draws to a close;
My horse will be joy,
Your horse will be love.
Come! Both our gentle deceiving horses
Are pawing the ground,
Mine deep in my dreams,
Yours deep in the skies.
We must bring luggage;
We shall bear away our vows,
Our joys, our miseries,
And the flower of your tresses.
Come, evening darkens the oaks,
The sparrow laughs; this mocking bird
Can hear the sweet noise of chains,
With which you have shackled my heart.
It will be no fault of mine
If the forests and the mountains,
Seeing us side by side,
Murmur: let us love!
Let us pass through Austria!
We shall have dawn before us;
I shall be great, you shall be rich,
Since we shall love each other!
Let us go overland
Astride our two charming horses,
Into the blue, into mystery,
Into splendours!
You shall be a noble lady, I a count,
Come, my heart blossoms;
Come, we shall tell this tale
To the stars of night.

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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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Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry and then from his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French franc banknotes.

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