Ignace Nau

Poem Title or First Line

Les Pipirites / Pipirites

Authors

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Author

Ignace Nau

Translation By

Axelle Sandt

Translator Biography

Axelle Sandt is pursuing an MA in French Studies at Montclair State University. Originally from France, she teaches French at the high school level. She loves to travel, cook, dance and to share her passion for her country, culture, and language.

Publication Date

2022

Description

English language translation of Ignace Nau's "Les Pipirites" by Axelle Sandt

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Les Pipirites / Pipirites

English language translation of Ignace Nau's "Les Pipirites" by Axelle Sandt

Original Work

Pourquoi gazouillez-vous sous la feuillée humide ?

Qui donc vous aura dit que l’heure est au matin ?

Votre oeil de pur cristal, si prompt et si rapide

En pressentirait-il un rayon incertain ?


Et d’ailleurs que dirait la triste voix de l’heure

Si ce n’est un son vide à votre coeur d’oiseau ?

Mais la brise qui souffle à votre humble demeure

A ce monde flottant de feuilles, de rameaux,


Serait-ce nos oiseaux, que sa légère haleine

Apportât jusqu’à vous la fraîcheur du matin ?

Car voici, la Nuit passe et l’aube sur la plaine

Brillera tout à l'heure à l’horizon lointain.


Vous êtes l’angelus des bois qui me réveille

Et fait chanter mon coeur aux concerts du matin,

Oh ! combien votre voix est plus douce à l'oreille

Que le bourdonnement sinistre de l’airain !


Poem by Ignace Nau

Translated Work

Why do you tweet under the dewy morning foliage?

Who told you that morning has arrived?

Has your pure crystal eye, so prompt and rapid

Sensed a hesitant sunbeam?


And besides, what would the hour’s sad voice say

If it were not an empty sound to your bird’s heart?

Yet the breeze which blows on your humble home

On this floating world of leaves and twigs,


Could it be our birds that the light breath

Of morning coolness has brought you?

For behold, night passes and dawn on the plain

Will soon shine in the distant horizon.


You are the angelus of the woods that awakens me

And makes my heart sing in these morning concerts,

Oh! How your voice is softer to the ear

Than the ominous hum of bronze bells!


Translated by Axelle Sandt, 2022


Notes

The "pipirite," or grey kingbird, is one of the first birds to sing in the morning.

The "angelus" was the church bell that called worshipers to prayer.