La Belle Dame sans Merci – I

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1847 - 28 aprile 1935): La Belle Dame sans Merci, ballata sinfonica op. 29 (1883) ispirata dall’omonima ballata di John Keats. Orchestra filarmonica di Malta, dir. Michael Laus.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
  And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
  So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
  And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
  With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
  Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
  Full beautiful — a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
  And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
  And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
  And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
  And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
  A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
  And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said —
  ‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
  And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
  With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
  And there I dreamed — Ah! woe betide! —
The latest dream I ever dreamt
  On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
  Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried — ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
  Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
  With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
  On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
  Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
  And no birds sing.


À la faveur des ombres

Sébastien Le Camus (c1610 - 1677): Laissez durer la nuit, air de cour (pubblicato in XIV. Livre d’airs de différents auteurs à deux parties, 1671); testo attribuito a Henriette de Coligny, comtesse de La Suze et de Coligny (1618 - 1673). Véronique Gens, soprano; Pascal Monteilhet, liuto.

Laissez durer la nuit, impatiente Aurore.​
Elle m’aide à cacher mes secrètes douleurs,
Et je n’ai pas encore assez versé de pleurs.
​Pour ma douleur, hélas!
est-il des nuits trop sombres?
​Depuis que mon berger quitta ce beau séjour,
Ah! Je ne puis souffrir le vif éclat du jour,
Laissez-moi donc pleurer
à la faveur des ombres
Autant que voudra son amour.