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La Coupo

La Coupo (the Cup) written by Frédéric Mistral on music by Nicolas Saboly (actually a Christmas carol) composed during the seventeenth century is the anthem of the Felibrige and even more today the anthem of the Provençals. It all started on July 30th, 1867 when the Catalan Felibres presented a silver cup to their Provencal counterparts to thank Mistral for having raised finds in favour of Balaguer’s political ideas and more generally t as a reminder of the two provinces friendship. As a matter of fact it features two female statuettes symbolizing Provence and Catalonia . Finely engraved inscriptions read:” Gift presented by Catalan patriots to Provençal Felibres for the hospitality they extended to the Catalan poet Victor Balaguer in 1867. The following verses can be found on the pedestal: “ They say she is dead but I believe she is alive”, V. Balaguer, “Oh, if I could be understood! Oh, if I could be followed!”, F. Mistral.

This cup which is the Felibrige’s emblem is shown every year on the occasion of their yearly congress held on Saint Estelle’s day in a different city of Langue d’Oc Region. Upon the “Capoulié”, Chair Person, is bestowed the authority of presenting the cup. The presentation is followed by the anthem and the cup passed from hand to hand to symbolize the communion of the Felibres.

To thank the Catalan Felibres for this Cup at the end of a banquet in 1868 Frederic Mistral answered with an anthem which will become the anthem of Provence and of all the land of Langue d’Oc ; it reads as follows :

Coupo Santo ---------- Holy Cup

Prouvençau, veici la Coupo ---------- Provençals that is the cup
Que nous vèn di Catalan ---------- Which comes from the Catalans
A-de-rèng beguen en troupo ---------- By turns let us all drink
Lou vin pur de noste plant. ---------- The pure wine from our vineyard

Coupo Santo ---------- Holy Cup
E versanto ---------- Brimming
Vuejo à plen bord ---------- Bursting
Vuejo abord ---------- Overflowing with
Lis estrambord ---------- Enthusiasm
E l'enavans di fort ! ---------- And the energy of the strong.

D'un vièi pople fièr e libre ---------- Of an ancient People
Sian bessai la finicioun ---------- We may be the end;
E, se toumbon li Felibre ---------- And if the Felibres fall,
Toumbara nosto nacioun. ---------- Fall shall our Nation.

D'uno raço que regreio ---------- Of a race that sprouts again
Sian bessai li proumié gréu ---------- We could be the early shoots
Sian bessai de la patrìo ---------- Of the country we are
Li cepoun emai li priéu. ---------- The pillars and leaders.

Vuejo-nous lis esperanço ---------- Shed upon us all the hopes
E li raive dóu jouvènt, ---------- And dreams of youth,
Dóu passat la remembranço ---------- The remembrances of the past
E la fe dins l'an que vèn. ---------- And faith in the year to come

Vuejo-nous la couneissènço ---------- Shed upon us the understanding
Dóu Verai emai dóu Bèu, ---------- Of the Truth and the Beauty
E lis àuti jouïssènço ---------- And all the pleasures
Que se trufon dóu toumbèu. ---------- That make light of the grave.

Vuejo-nous la Pouësio ---------- Shed the Poetry on us
Pèr canta tout ço que viéu, ---------- To praise all that lives
Car es elo l'ambrousìo ---------- For it is ambrosia
Que tremudo l'ome en diéu. ---------- That changes Man in God.

Pèr la glòri dóu terraire ---------- For the glory of the land
Vautre enfin que sias counsènt ---------- You at last our accomplices
Catalan, de liuen, o fraire, ---------- Catalans, brothers from afar,
Coumunien tóutis ensèn ! ---------- All together, let us all commune.

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