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La Mort d'Ophélie — Op. 9 by Saint-Saëns

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Published on Feb 18, 2011

From my senior recital
February 10th, 2011

Au bord d'un torrent, Ophélie
Cueillait tout en suivant le bord,
Dans sa douce et tendre folie,
Des pervenches, des boutons d'or,
Des iris aux couleurs d'opale,
Et de ces fleurs d'un rose pâle,
Qu'on appelle des doigts de mort.

Puis élevant sur ses mains blanches
Les riants trésors du matin,
Elle les suspendait aux branches,
Aux branches d'un saule voisin;
Mais, trop faible, le rameau plie,
Se brise, et la pauvre Ophélie.....
Tombe, sa guirlande à la main.

Quelques instants, sa robe enflée
La tint encor sur le courant,
Et comme une voile gonflée,
Elle flottait toujours, chantant,
Chantant quelque vieille ballade,
Chantant ainsi qu'une naïade
Née au milieu de ce torrent.

Mais cette étrange mélodie
Passa rapide comme un son;
Par les flots la robe alourdie
Bientôt dans l'abîme profond;
Entraïna la pauvre insensée,
Laissant à peine commencée
Sa mélodieuse chanson.

At the edge of a rushing stream,
Ophélie gathered flowers, following the river's edge.
In her soft and tender madness,
She gathered the periwinkles, the gold buttons,
The irises, the colors of opals,
And these flowers of a pale pink,
Which are called "the fingers of death".

Then raising herself on her white hands,
Laughing at those treasures of the morning,
She suspended herself on the branches,
On the branches of a nearby willow;
But, too weak, the branch folds,
Breaks, and poor Ophélie......
Her grave, strewn with the garlands gathered by her hand.

For a few moments, her billowing dress
Was held by the current,
Like an inflated sail.
It floated, and somewhere there was singing,
Singing some old ballad,
Singing as a newborn water nymph
In the middle of this torrent.

But this strange melody passed,
A quick sound;
In the floods, her dress soon weighed her down
In the deep abyss;
The led-astray girl, the poor, foolish one,
Left, having barely begun
Her melodious song.

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