L'adieu des bergers (Hector Berlioz)

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  • (Posted 2014-06-07)  CPDL #32193:       
Editor: Jean Smolders (submitted 2014-06-07).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 87 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment.
  • (Posted 2010-02-13)  CPDL #21007:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2010-02-13).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 76 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In English translation. Voice parts only, with cues.
  • (Posted 2001-01-09)  CPDL #01942:         
Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2001-01-09).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 312 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In English translation. Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: L'adieu des bergers from L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25
English title: The Shepherds' Farewell
Composer: Hector Berlioz

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem for Holy family

Language: French
Instruments: Orchestra

First published:

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Adieu des bergers à la sainte famille, from l'Enfance du Christ.
Il s’en va loin de la terre
Où dans l’étable il vit le jour.
De son père et de sa mère
Qu’il reste le constant amour,
Qu’il grandisse, qu’il prospère
Et qu’il soit bon père à son tour.

Oncques si, chez l’idolâtre,
Il vient à sentir le malheur,
Fuyant la terre marâtre,
Chez nous qu’il revienne au bonheur.
Que la pauvreté du pâtre
Reste toujours chère à son cœur.

Cher enfant, Dieu te bénisse!
Dieu vous bénisse, heureux époux!
Que jamais de l’injustice
Vous ne puissiez sentir les coups.
Qu’un bon ange vous avertisse
Des dangers planant sur vous.

English.png English translation

by Paul England
Thou must leave thy lowly dwelling,
The humble crib, the stable bare.
Babe, all mortal babes excelling,
Content our earthly lot to share.
Loving father, Loving mother,
Shelter thee with tender care!

Blessed Jesus, we implore thee
With humble love and holy fear.
In the land that lies before thee,
Forget not us who linger here!
May the shepherd's lowly calling,
Ever to thy heart be dear!

Blest are ye beyond all measure,
Thou happy father, mother mild!
Guard ye well your heav'nly treasure,
The Prince of Peace, The Holy Child!
God go with you, God protect you,
Guide you safely through the wild!

English.png English translation

literal translation by Carlos Mourão
He goes away from the land
where, in the barn, he saw the day.
May he remain the constant love
of his father and his mother,
may he grow, may he thrive
and may he be a good father in his turn.

If he ever come to feel unhappiness
among the idolatrous,
fleeing from the stepmother land,
may he return home to happiness.
May the poverty of the shepherd
always remain dear to his heart.

Dear child, God bless you!
God bless you, happy couple!
May you never never feel
the blows of injustice.
May a good angel warn you
of the dangers hovering over you.

English.png English translation

by Ccubed:
"I believe this translation is closer to the spirit of Berlioz's text."

You must flee this humble stable,
and leave the crib that held you there.
Still, your father and your mother
surround you with undying care!
Grow and prosper, grow and prosper,
and a father's love may you share!

In that foreign land you flee to,
should loneliness bring you tears,
please remember us that love you;
Return to joyous welcome here.
May we shepherds, poor and simple,
ever to your heart be dear!

Dearest infant, may God bless you;
God bless your happy parents too.
May injustice never darken
the love that God bestows on you.
Guardian angels guide, protect you.
May they lead you safely through!