Chanson d’automne… Paul Verlaine – 1844-1896

Paul Verlaine’s “Chanson d’automne” (“Autumn Song”), comes from his collection Poèmes saturniens, published in 1866. At the end of World War II, the BBC used the opening lines of this poem to signal the start of D-Day operations and it became famous for its connection to the French Resistance.

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure;

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

Autumn Song

When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long

Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours toll deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over,
And I weep.

And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow 

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