Please note our box office phone number is currently unavailable Please email boxoffice@oxfordsong.org for all enquiries

Songs

5. La chevelure

by Rita Strohl From Douze chants de Bilitis

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.

Text & Translation

View IPA

5. La chevelure
French source: Pierre Louÿs

Il m’a dit: «Cette nuit, j’ai rêvé. J’avais ta chevelure
autour de mon cou. J’avais tes cheveux comme un
collier noir autour de ma nuque et sur ma poitrine.

«Je les caressais, et c’étaient les miens; et nous
étions liés pour toujours ainsi, par la même chevelure
la bouche sur la bouche, ainsi que deux lauriers n’ont
souvent qu’une racine.

«Et peu à peu, il m’a semblé, tant nos membres
étaient confondus, que je devenais toi-même ou que
tu entrais en moi comme mon songe.»

Quand il eut achevé, il mit doucement ses mains sur
mes épaules, et il me regarda d’un regard si tendre,
que je baissai les yeux avec un frisson.

The tresses of hair
English translation © Richard Stokes

He said to me: ‘Last night I dreamed. I had your
tresses around my neck. I had your hair like a black
necklace all round my nape and over my breast.

‘I caressed it and it was mine; and we
were united thus for ever by the same tresses,
mouth on mouth, just as two laurels
often share one root.

‘And gradually it seemed to me, so intertwined
were our limbs, that I was becoming you, or you were
entering into me like a dream.’

When he had finished, he gently set his hands on
my shoulders and gazed at me so tenderly that I lowered
my eyes with a shiver.

Translation © Richard Stokes, author of A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

5. La chevelure
French source: Pierre Louÿs

The tresses of hair
English source: Richard Stokes

Il m’a dit: «Cette nuit, j’ai rêvé. J’avais ta chevelure
He said to me: ‘Last night I dreamed. I had your
autour de mon cou. J’avais tes cheveux comme un
tresses around my neck. I had your hair like a black
collier noir autour de ma nuque et sur ma poitrine.
necklace all round my nape and over my breast.

«Je les caressais, et c’étaient les miens; et nous
‘I caressed it and it was mine; and we
étions liés pour toujours ainsi, par la même chevelure
were united thus for ever by the same tresses,
la bouche sur la bouche, ainsi que deux lauriers n’ont
mouth on mouth, just as two laurels
souvent qu’une racine.
often share one root.

«Et peu à peu, il m’a semblé, tant nos membres
‘And gradually it seemed to me, so intertwined
étaient confondus, que je devenais toi-même ou que
were our limbs, that I was becoming you, or you were
tu entrais en moi comme mon songe.»
entering into me like a dream.’

Quand il eut achevé, il mit doucement ses mains sur
When he had finished, he gently set his hands on
mes épaules, et il me regarda d’un regard si tendre,
my shoulders and gazed at me so tenderly that I lowered
que je baissai les yeux avec un frisson.
my eyes with a shiver.

Composer

Poet

Pierre Louÿs

Pierre Louÿs was a French poet and writer, best known for his classical themes and sensual style. Read more here.

Performances

Previously performed at:

Help us with a Donation

Enjoying our texts and translations? Help us continue to offer this service to all.

Make a Donation

Select Tickets