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The original poem by Victor Hugo (A des âmes envolées - 1870) was reshaped and rewritten by Alain Jacques (text in square brackets). The melody follows a 11/4 pattern: 3/4 + 2/4.+ 3/4 + 3/4. We give hereafter the original poem by Victor Hugo with its literal translation.
"A des âmes envolées"
Ces âmes que tu rappelles, Mon coeur, ne reviennent pas. Pourquoi donc s’obstinent-elles, Hélas! à rester là-bas?
Dans les sphères éclatantes, Dans l’azur et les rayons, Sont-elles donc plus contentes Qu’avec nous qui les aimions?
Nous avions, sous les tonnelles, Une maison près Saint-Leu: Comme les fleurs étaient belles, Comme le ciel était bleu!
Parmi les feuilles tombées Nous courions au bois vermeil, Nous cherchions des scarabées Sous les vieux murs au soleil;
On riait de ce bon rire, Qu’Eden ja-dis entendit, Ayant toujours à se dire Ce qu’on s’était déjà dit;
Je contais la Mère l’Oie, On était heureux Dieu sait! On poussait des cris de joie Pour un oiseau qui passait.
Translation (AJ): "To departed souls"
These souls that you recall, My heart, do not come back. Why thus are they persisting Alas! in staying there?
In the dazzling spheres, In the azure and the rays, Are they then happier Than with us who loved them?
We had, under the arbours, A house near Saint-Leu: How beautiful were the flowers, How blue was the sky!
Among the shed leaves We were running in the crimson wood, We were looking for scarabs Under the old walls in the sun;
We were laughing with that good laughter That Eden heard a long time ago, Having always to say to each other What we had already said;
I was telling the Mother Goose story, We were happy God knows! We were shouting with joy For a bird that was passing over.
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.
Reviews of Les Heures Envolées (A. Jacques / Victor Hugo) - bilingual
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