There was an error in this gadget

Sunday, April 10, 2011

En francais




I am in the mood for Baudelaire. I read this poem for the first time in French a decade ago. I fell in love with it. Then I translated it into English while I was taking a French class.

Tonight, I remember it - the tone, the feeling - because it's that kind of night, when phantoms come and caress you.

Le Revenant

Comme les anges à l'oeil fauve,
Je reviendrai dans ton alcôve
Et vers toi glisserai sans bruit
Avec les ombres de la nuit;

Et je te donnerai, ma brune,
Des baisers froids comme la lune
Et des caresses de serpent
Autour d'une fosse rampant.

Quand viendra le matin livide,
Tu trouveras ma place vide,
Où jusqu'au soir il fera froid.

Comme d'autres par la tendresse,
Sur ta vie et sur ta jeunesse,
Moi, je veux régner par l'effroi.

— Charles Baudelaire

Alas, I don't know where my own translation is now. It's been a while. But this one will suffice.

The Ghost

Like angels with wild beast's eyes
I shall return to your bedroom
And silently glide toward you
With the shadows of the night;

And, dark beauty, I shall give you
Kisses cold as the moon
And the caresses of a snake
That crawls around a grave.

When the livid morning comes,
You'll find my place empty,
And it will be cold there till night.

I wish to hold sway over
Your life and youth by fear,
As others do by tenderness.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

No comments:

Post a Comment