Contre Qui Rose


Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)

text Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)


Contre Qui, Rose,
Against whom, rose,
avez-vous adopté ces épines?
Have you assumed these thorns?
Votre joie trop fine vous a-t-elle forcée
Is it your too fragile joy that forced you
de devenir cette chose armée?
to become this armed thing?

Mais de qui vous protège cette arme exagérée?
But from whom does it protect you, this exaggerated defense?
Combien d'ennemis vous ai-je enlevés
How many enemies have I lifted from you
qui ne la craignaient point?
who did not fear it at all?
Au contraire, d'été en automne,
On the contrary, from summer to autumn
vous blessez les soins qu'on vous donne.
you wound the affection that is given you.

                         from Les Roses,  English translation by Barbara and Erica Muhl


This piece was performed on Octarium’s Modern Masters, November 2009.

This piece is also featured on Octarium's 2009 release, Modern Masters.