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This poem has also been set to music by many composers: Léo Delibes, Ernest Reyer, Charles Widor, Emile Pessard, Frédérick d’Erlanger and Césard Cui, among others. The English rendition was adapted by Alain Jacques from F.C. Philips, but we give hereafter a litteral translation:
1._I was not thinking about Rose, Rose, to the woods, came with me; We were talking about something, But I don’t remember what.
I was as cold as the marble, I was walking absent-minded steps, I was talking about the flowers, the trees, Her eyes seemed to say "So what?"
2._The dew was offering its pearls, The bush its umbrellas; I was going and listening to the blackbirds And Rose to the nightingales.
I, sixteen year old and a morose face, She, twenty and bright eyes. The nightingales were singing for Rose And the blackbirds whistling at me.
3._Rose, straight on her hips, Raised her fair trembling arm To take a berry on the branches: I did not see her white arm.
A stream was running fresh and hollow On the velvety mosses, And nature in love Was sleeping in the big muffled woods.
4._Rose undid her shoe And put, with a naive gesture, Her little foot in the clear water. I did not see her naked foot!
I did not know what to say to her, I was following her in the wood, Seeing her sometimes smiling And sometimes sighing.
5._I only saw that she was beautiful When we left the muffled woods. "OK, let’s stop thinking about it" she said. Since, I think about it, always!
Reviews of Je ne songeais pas à Rose (A. Jacques / Victor Hugo) - bilingual
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