A New Translation of Bourget/Debussy's Beau Soir
I've always adored the gorgeous Barbara Streisand version of Debussy's art song, Beau Soir. I had always had only the vaguest idea what the words meant, however,. Recently, I started listening to it again, and decided to seek out translations. The few I could find were clunky and horrible. So, armed with my year and a half of French some 30-odd years ago, I set out to try my own version. Admittedly, it's just an impression of the poem, but it strikes me that ALL translations are merely an impression of what the writer was trying to say in their language, hence my title:
Impressions on a Beautiful Evening
after Paul Bourget/Debussy
When, at sunset, the rivers are awash in rosy hues and a light breeze unfurls across the wheatfields, a happy feeling imbues all things and calms a troubled heart.
One’s soul sings all the charms of the world when one is young; night admits no gloom. Yet, we depart so quickly: water to the sea, we to the tomb.