'We won't go back to the wood
They've cut down all the laurels'
The evening's soft, the round is wild,
Give me your hands, you playful child,
Come and dance beneath the limes.
Your skirts fly off to distant climes,
The evening's blue, my spirit wild,
So turn again beneath the limes! . . .
Let's turn until the chill sets in,
Dancing here with 'the lovely one'.
The poppet joins the turning round
The square is brown, the dance is blond,
The doorsteps listen to the sound.
My spirit is that little blond;
Of wanderlust we're not so fond,
Let's stay and dance this local round.
Dance until the chill sets in,
Turning here with 'the lovely one'.
One more, before we're told to stop.
Yes, before we're all grown up,
Let's dance and then we'll go to sleep.
A last dance under the chestnut trees,
A last dance, turning as we please
Till dying brings us to our knees . . .
Till dying brings us to our knees.
Translated from the French
Carcanet Press, U.K.