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L'invitation au voyage

Mon enfant, ma sœur,
Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble !
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble !
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.
 
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
 
Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre ;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
À l'âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.
 
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
 
Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l'humeur est vagabonde ;
C'est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu'ils viennent du bout du monde.
- Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
D'hyacinthe et d'or ;
Le monde s'endort
Dans une chaude lumière.
 
Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.
 
Traduzione

Invitation to Travel

My child, my sister,
Dream of the delight1
Of going there to live together!
To love as we please,
To love and die
In the country that is just like you!
The damp suns
Of those misty skies
Offer my spirit those charms,
So mysterious,
Of your deceiving eyes,
Sparkling through your tears.
 
There, everything is only orderliness and beauty,
Luxury, calm, and sensuousness.
 
The shining furniture,
Polished by the years,
Would decorate our bedroom.2
The rarest flowers
Mixing their scents
With the vague aromas of amber,
The rich ceilings,
The deep mirrors,
The oriental splendour,
Everything would speak
Secretly to the soul
In its native language.
 
There, everything is only orderliness and beauty,
Luxury, calm, and sensuousness.
 
See on those canals
Those vessels sleeping,
Whose mood is vagabond.3
It is to sate
Your slightest desire
That they come to the end of the world.
The setting suns
Bathe the fields,
The canals, the entire city
In hyacinth and gold.
The world sleeps
In a warm light.
 
There, everything is only orderliness and beauty,
Luxury, calm, and sensuousness.
 
  • 1. "Douceur" usually translates as either "gentleness" or "sweetness." I'm taking a small liberty here.
  • 2. There's a number of places in the original French that show a semicolon. That would be a bit strange in English so I've adjusted the punctuation according to my understanding of how this would all make some kind of sense.
  • 3. Ships travel a lot.
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