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Le chant de sommeil du Coryphée (Coryphee's Slumber Song)

par Alexandre Dumas père

(in Act V, scene v of Caligula)

César a fermé la paupière,
Au jour doit succéder la nuit;
Que s'éteigne toute lumière,
Que s'évanouisse tout bruit!...

A travers ces arcades sombres,
Enfants aux folles passions,
Disparaissez comme des ombres,
Fuyez comme des visions.

Allez, que le caprice emporte
Chaque âme selon son désir,
Et que, close après vous, la porte
Ne se rouvre plus qu'au plaisir.

translated by Gérard Blais

Caesar has closed his eyes,
Night must follow day;
May all light disappear,
May all sound vanish!...

Through these dark arcades,
O Children of foolish passions,
Disappear as shadows,
Flee as visions.

Go, may whim carry
Each soul as it wishes,
And may the door, closed after you,
Re-open only to pleasure.

translated by Frank J. Morlock

(in Act V, scene v of Morlock's translation of Caligula)

Caesar shuts his eyes
Day must succeed night
Which extinguishes all light
Which dissipates all noise.

Through these dark arcades
Children given to mad passions
Disappear like shadows
Flee like visions.

Go - let caprice carry you off
Each soul, according to its desire
And that, closed after you, the gate
Will open only to pleasure.


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