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Deux Mélodies

Opus : 5
Date of composition : 1922
Instrument(s) : piano/voice
Publisher : Combre
Duration : 3'30"
Technical level : (mezzo)soprano/tenor voice

About two poems written by Victor Hugo, one of the French authors most popular abroad.

In a romantic style, they set up the main metaphysical questions about Death ("Le Matin") and Life ("La Demoiselle").

Victor Hugo
Odes et ballades

Book V
(1819 - 1828)


O'er mounts the morning's veil expands.
Behold, a rising beam the old tower whitens;
And lovingly unites already in heavens,
Like glory with joy,
The first singing of the woods with the coming daylight.

Yes, smile at the sky's ornemental brightness ! -
You shall see, if to-morrow the coffin devours me,
A sun as beautiful shining at your despair,
And the same birds celebrating the same dawn,
Above my silent dark grave !

But in yonder horizon the soul now is enraptured.
The endless future is open to the unlimited being.
In the morning of eternity
One awakes from life,
As from a sombrous night or a restless dream.

April, 1822

Odes et ballades
Book IV (1819-1827)

The Damsel-fly

When the golden damsel
Flies away early in the winters,
Oft her mottled dress,
Oft her wing is torn
On a thousand green bushes' thorns.

Thus, youth, lively and frail,
That, wandering astray, flyest
Where thy natural bent calls thee,
Oft thou tear thy wing
On voluptuous desires' thorns.

(May 1827)
(translation: Chantal Virlet-Journeau)

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