Berlioz  "Le Spectre de la rose"
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Berlioz "Le Spectre de la rose"

from "Les Nuits d'Eté" Text by Théophile Gautier Jess Dandy, contralto Dylan Perez, piano Bobby Williams, sound & video St Paul's Knightsbridge February 2020 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 English Translation © Richard Stokes 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)Le spectre de la rose