Autumn leaves in song and poetry

Autumn Leaves began as a French song (Les Feuilles Mortes) composed in 1945 (music by Joseph Kosma, lyrics by Jacques Prevert).  It was first sung by Yves Montand in the film, Les Portes de la Nuit.  Johnny Mercer wrote the English lyrics in 1947.  

Here are Prevert's lyrics in French and English:

Autumn Leaves by austin fleming on Grooveshark

Oh, je voudais tant que tu te souviennes   
Des jours heureux où nous étions amis     
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle     
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui.
Oh! I would like to remember as you do    
Those happy days when we were friends.   
Back when life was so beautiful,     
And the sun burned brighter than today.   

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle   
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié   
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle     
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi.
The dead leaves picked up with a shovel.     
You see, I did not forget...     
The dead leaves picked up with a shovel,     
And the memories and also the regrets.   
Et le vent du Nord les emporte, 
Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli.     
Tu vois je n'ai pas oublié,   
La chanson que tu me chantais...
And the north wind carries them     
In the cold night of the forgotten.   
But, you see, I did not forget     
The song you sang to me.    
C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble,   
Toi tu m'aimais, moi je t'aimais     
Nous vivions, tous les deux ensemble,   
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais.
It’s the song which brings us together,     
You loved me and I loved you   
And we lived together,
You who loved me, I who loved you.      

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment,     
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable   
Les pas des amants désunis.
But life separates lovers,   
So softly, without making noise     
And the sea erases from the sands     
The steps of parted lovers.  

And the English lyrics by Johnny Mercer:
The falling leaves drift by the window 
The autumn leaves of red and gold 
I see your lips, the summer kisses 
The sun-burned hands I used to hold 

Since you went away the days grow long 
And soon I'll hear old winter's song 
But I miss you most of all my darling 
When autumn leaves start to fall       


Here, in spare New England terms, Robert Frost writes of autumn's falling leaves...    

In Hardwood Groves 

The same leaves over and over again!     
They fall from giving shade above     
To make one texture of faded brown     
And fit the earth like a leather glove.     

Before the leaves can mount again      
To fill the trees with another shade,     
They must go down past things coming up.     
They must go down into the dark decayed.     

They must be pierced by flowers and put 
Beneath the feet of dancing flowers.     
However it is in some other world 
I know that this is the way in ours.    

- Robert Frost

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