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Le clocher chante (1951) Op. 27 no.4

Part of a series or song cycle:

Mélodies passagères (Op. 27)

Le clocher chante

Mieux qu’une tour profane,
je me chauffe pour mûrir mon carillon.
Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon
aux Valaisannes.
Chaque dimanche, ton par ton,
je leur jette ma manne;
qu’il soit bon, mon carillon,
aux Valaisannes.
Qu’il soit doux, qu’il soit bon;
samedi soir dans les channes
tombe en gouttes mon carillon
aux Valaisans des Valaisannes.

The bell tower sings

Better warmed than a secular tower
am I to ripen my carillon.
May it be sweet, may it be good
for the girls of the Valais.
Every Sunday, tone by tone,
I cast to them my manna;
may it be good, my carillon,
for the girls of the Valais.
May it be sweet, may it be good;
into their beers on Saturday nights
my carillon falls, drop by drop,
for the boys of the girls of the Valais.
Translation © Richard Stokes author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets".He wrote both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke's work as inherently "mystical". His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers.

Taken from Wikipedia. Read more here.

Read some of Rilke's work here, on Poetry Foundation.

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