Paul Verlaine: Moonlight (from French)

Moonlight
By Paul Verlaine

Your soul’s the landscape of a painter’s dream
Where charming masks and bergamasks arise
To play the lute and dance and nearly seem
Sad underneath a whimsical disguise.

Their lively songs all tell in minor key
Of conquering love, of living in delight.
They can’t believe how happy they must be…
Their melody melts in the calm moonlight,

In the calm, beautiful and sad moonlight
That lures the birds to dream among the trees
And makes the fountains sob into the night
Their marbled streams of long-drawn ecstasies.

Clair de Lune

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques,
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune,
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

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