Sunday, May 9, 2010

"La Fin de la Journée"

La Fin de la Journée

Sous une lumière blafarde
Court, danse et se tord sans raison
La Vie, impudente et crarde.
Aussi, sitôt qu'à l'horizon

La nuit voluptueuse monte,
Apaisant tout, même la faim,
Effaçant tout, même la honte,
Le Poëte se dit: "Enfin!

Mon esprit, comme me vertèbres,
Invoque ardemment le repos;
Le coeur plein de songes funèbres,

Je vais me coucher sur le dos
Et me rouler dans vos rideaux,
O rafraîchissantes ténèbres!"

The End of the Day

In all its raucous impudence
Life writhes, cavorts in pallid light,
With little cause or consequence;
And when, with darkling skies, the night

Casts over all its sensuous balm,
Quells hunger's pangs and, in like wise,
Quells shame beneath its pall of calm,
"Aha, at last!" the Poet sighs.

"My mind, my bones, yearn, clamoring
For sweet repose unburdening.
Heart full of dire, funeral thought,

I will lie out; your folds will cling
About me: veils of shadow wrought,
O darkness, cool and comforting!"
From Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du mal: A Bilingual Edition
by Charles Baudelaire

Translated by Norman R. Shapiro with engravings by David Schorr
Published by the University of Chicago Press

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