Isolde Kurz: Now night is coming, the first night in the grave
André Rivoire: Tears, you are all that is left

Desbordes-Valmore: Who will give me back those days


Who will give me back those days when life has wings
and flies, flies like a lark up to heaven,
when so much brightness passes before her eyes
that she falls down blinded in the middle of the flowers
that perfume her nest, her soul, her sleep,
and glow in her feathers burned by the sun!

Heaven! One of those golden threads to weave into my days,
the debris of that prism of brilliant colors!
At the heart of those beautiful days and those lovely flowers,
a dream where I'm free, a child, just born!

When my mother's love was my future;
when no one in my family had died;
when everything lived for me, vain little girl,
when living was heaven, or remembering it!

When I loved without knowing what I loved,
when the soul throbbed happily inside me-- why? I don't know;
when nature was perfume and flame,
when my two arms opened before those days--    gone.

    --Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859) had a poverty-stricken life and lost many members of her family, including her two young daughters.


Qui me rendra ces jours où la vie a des ailes
Et vole, vole ainsi que l'alouette aux cieux,
Lorsque tant de clarté passe devant ses yeux,
Qu'elle tombe éblouie au fond des fleurs, de celles
Qui parfument son nid, son âme, son sommeil,
Et lustrent son plumage ardé par le soleil !

Ciel ! un de ces fils d'or pour ourdir ma journée,
Un débris de ce prisme aux brillantes couleurs !
Au fond de ces beaux jours et de ces belles fleurs,
Un rêve ! où je sois libre, enfant, à peine née,

Quand l'amour de ma mère était mon avenir,
Quand on ne mourait pas encor dans ma famille,
Quand tout vivait pour moi, vaine petite fille !
Quand vivre était le ciel, ou s'en ressouvenir,

Quand j'aimais sans savoir ce que j'aimais, quand l'âme
Me palpitait heureuse, et de quoi ? Je ne sais ;
Quand toute la nature était parfum et flamme,
Quand mes deux bras s'ouvraient devant ces jours... passés.


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