Friday, September 26, 2014

Malicorne - Victor Hugo - The Timpanist's Bride


Original Title: "La fiancée du timbalier"
Text: Victor Hugo

My Lord the duke of Brittany
Has, for the murderous combats,
Summoned from Nantes to Mortagne
In the plain and on the mountain
All of his barrons and vassals' warriors.

Those are barrons whose arms
deck out forts encircled with a pit
Valiant knights aged in the alarms
Squires, men at arms;
One of them is my fiancé

He has left for Aquitaine
As a timpanist and yet
He is taken for a captain
Just seeing his haughty look
and his pourpoint of dazzling gold!

I have told to our abbot: - Your grace,
Pray well for all our soldiers!
And, like it's known he wants it,
I have burned three candles of wax
On the shrine of Saint Gildas.

He is due today from the war
to come back with my lord;
It's not a common lover anymore
I raise a forehead formerly lowered
And my pride is happiness!

The triumphant duke brings us back
His flag in the camps crumpled
Come all under the old gate
To see the sparkling escort go through
And the prince and my fiancé!

My sisters, so slow to attire yourself in
Come see near my victor
Those gleaming kettledrums
Those under his always trembling hand
Ring and make the heart spring up!

Come most of all to see himself
Under the coat I have embroidered.
How beautiful he will be! It's him I love!
He wears like a diadem
His helmet flooded with horse hair!

On two ranks the procession ripples
First the pikemen marching heavily
Then, under the banner being unfurled
The barrons, in silk robe,
With their velvet hats

Here comes the chasubles of the priests
The heralds on a white steed.
All of them, in memory of the ancesters,
Bear the escutcheon of their masters
Painted on their steel corselet

Admire the persian armor
Of the templars, feared by hell;
And, under the lengthy partisan
The archers arrived from Lausanne
Dressed with buffalo, armed with iron.

The duke is not far, his banners
floats among the knights;
A few captive ensigns
Shameful, pass the last ones...
My sisters! Here comes the timpanists...

She says and her wandering sight
Plunges in the squeezed ranks
Then in the indifferent crowd
She fell cold and dieing...
The timpanists were gone past.

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