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A L’Hirondelle

Andre Marie de Chenier 1762 (Constantinople) – 1794 (Paris)



Fille de Pandion, ô jeune Athénienne,
La cigale est ta proie, hirondelle inhumaine,
Et nourrit tes petits qui, débiles encor,
Nus, tremblants, dans les airs n'osent prendre l'essor.
Tu voles; comme toi la cigale a des ailes.
Tu chantes; elle chante. À vos chansons fidèles
Le moissonneur s'égaye, et l'automne orageux
En des climats lointains vous chasse toutes deux.
Oses-tu donc porter dans ta cruelle joie
A ton nid sans pitié cette innocente proie?
Et faut-il voir périr un chanteur sans appui
Sous la morsure, hélas! d'un chanteur comme lui!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Andre Marie de Chenier

André Marie Chénier was a French poet of Greek and Franco-Levantine origin, associated with the events of the French Revolution of which he was a victim. His sensual, emotive poetry marks him as one of the precursors of the Romantic movement. His career was brought to an abrupt end when he was guillotined for supposed "crimes against the state", just three days before the end of the Reign of Terror. Chénier's life has been the subject of Umberto Giordano's opera Andrea Chénier and other works of art. more…

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