Chanson d’automne (Delius / Verlaine)

Autumn Song

By: Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
For: Voice + keyboard
page one of Chanson d’automne (Delius / Verlaine)

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Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
Year of composition
Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
Difficult (Grades 7+)
2 minutes
Classical music
License details
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This poem has also been set to music by Reynaldo Hahn, Gustave Charpentier and Alain Jacques. The poem, dated 1865, is famous for the terse magic of its 4-syllable verses which, in French, create a sound and a rhythm expressing so well the feelings evoked by the words. Despite the impossibility to render this in English I still have, hereafter, given a literal translation. Translation (AJ): The long sobs Of the violins Of autumn Wound my heart With a languor Monotonous.

All suffocating And pale when The hour strikes I remember The old days And weep

And I leave In the ill wind that carries me Hither and thither Like the Dead leaf.

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