Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Le Rebelle

Le Rebelle

Un Ange furieux fond du ciel comme un aigle,
Du mécréant saisit à plein poing les cheveux,
Et dit, le secouant: «Tu connaîtras la règle!
(Car je suis ton bon Ange, entends-tu?) Je le veux!

Sache qu'il faut aimer, sans faire la grimace,
Le pauvre, le méchant, le tortu, l'hébété,
Pour que tu puisses faire à Jesus, quand il passe,
Un tapis triomphal avec ta charité.

Tel est l'Amour! Avant que ton coeur ne se blase,
À la gloire de Dieu rallume ton extase;
C'est la Volupté vraie aux durables appas!»

Et l'Ange, châtiant autant, ma foi! qu'il aime,
De ses poings de géant torture l'anathème;
Mais le damné répond toujours: «Je ne veux pas!»

— Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal (1868)

The Rebel

Falling abruptly like a bird of prey from the sky,
A furious angel seizes the sinner by his hair
And says, "I will teach you to behave, do you hear me? I
Am your good spirit!" And shakes him angrily in the air.

"I will teach you to be kind — to love, without making a face,
The poor, the deformed, the depraved, the uncivil, the dirty, the dumb
That you may help with your charity to prepare a place
Here upon earth for Jesus when he is ready to come.

"Such is true love — the only virtue that exists,
The only happiness that endures. Take heed, before
Your heart is completely petrified and your senses rot."

And pounding upon his victim with his colossal fists
In love and in fury, the angel cannot cease to implore —
Nor the accursèd one to answer: "I will not!"

— George Dillon, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1936)

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