Skip to main content

Songs

Songs

Le spectre de la rose (1841) Op. 7 no.2


Part of a series or song cycle:

Les Nuits d’Été (Op. 7)


Le spectre de la rose

Soulève ta paupière close
Qu’effleure un songe virginal;
Je suis le spectre d’une rose
Que tu portais hier au bal.
Tu me pris encore emperlée
Des pleurs d’argent de l’arrosoir,
Et parmi le fête étoilée
Tu me promenas tout le soir.
Ô toi, qui de ma mort fus cause,
Sans que tu puisses le chasser,
Toutes les nuits mon spectre rose
À ton chevet viendra danser.
Mais ne crains rien, je ne réclame
Ni messe ni De profundis;
Ce léger parfum est mon âme,
Et j’arrive du paradis.
Mon destin fut digne d’envie:
Et pour avoir un sort si beau,
Plus d’un aurait donné sa vie,
Car sur ton sein j’ai mon tombeau,
Et sur l’albâtre où je repose
Un poëte avec un baiser
Écrivit: Ci-gît une rose
Que tous les rois vont jalouser.

The spectre of the rose

Open your eyelids,
Brushed by a virginal dream;
I am the spectre of a rose
That yesterday you wore at the dance.
You plucked me still sprinkled
With silver tears of dew,
And amid the glittering feast
You wore me all evening long.
O you who brought about my death,
You shall be powerless to banish me:
The rosy spectre which every night
Will come to dance at your bedside.
But be not afraid – I demand
Neither Mass nor De Profundis;
This faint perfume is my soul,
And I come from Paradise.
My destiny was worthy of envy;
And for such a beautiful fate,
Many would have given their lives –
For my tomb is on your breast,
And on the alabaster where I lie,
A poet with a kiss
Has written: Here lies a rose
Which every king will envy.
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'Enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La Damnation de Faust.

The elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, and he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris. He briefly moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1830 but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.

Information from Wikipedia. For the full article, please click here.


See Full Entry

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.

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)

About Oxford Lieder

Oxford Lieder is one of the world's leading promoters of song and the winner of a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The focal point of each year is the two-week Oxford Lieder Festival in October.

Find out More

Mailing List