Les roses d’Ispahan (Cesar Cui / Leconte de Lisle)

The roses of Ispahan

By: César Cui (1835-1918)
For: Voice + keyboard
page one of Les roses d’Ispahan (Cesar Cui / Leconte de Lisle)

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César Cui (1835-1918)
Year of composition
Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894)
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Literal translation (AJ)):

1. The roses of Ispahan in their sheath of moss, The jasmines of Mosul, the orange blossoms, Have a fragrance less fresh, an aroma less sweet, O fair Leila, than your light breath!

2. Your lips are coral and your light laughter Rings better than babbling waters and with a softer voice, Better than the joyous breeze that rocks the orange-tree, Better than the bird that sings on the edge of its nest of moss.

3. But the subtle fragrance of the roses in their moss, The breeze that plays around the orange-tree And the running water flowing with sweet murmur Have a more certain charm than your fickle love!

4. O Leila, ever since in their airy flight All the kisses have fled from your lips so sweet, There is no longer any fragrance from the pale orange-tree, No heavenly aroma from the roses in the moss.

5. The bird, on wet down and the moss, Sings no more among the roses and orange-trees; The springs in the gardens have no more sweet song, And dawn no longer gilds the pure and light sky.

6. Oh, if only your youthful love, that light butterfly, Would return to my heart on swift and gentle wings, And perfume once more the orange blossom And the roses of Ispahan in their sheath of moss.

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