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Le voyage

Paladilhe (1887)

Partir avant le jour, à tâtons, sans voir goutte,
Sans songer seulement à demander sa route;
Aller de chute en chute, et, se traînant ainsi,
Faire un tiers du chemin jusqu'à près de midi;
Voir sur sa tête alors s'amasser les nuages,
Sur un sable mouvant précipiter ses pas,
Courir, en essuyant orages sur orages,
Vers un but incertain où l'on n'arrive pas;
Détrempé vers le soir, chercher une retraite,
Arriver haletant, se coucher, s'endormir:
On appelle cela naître, vivre et mourir.
La volonté de Dieu soit faite!

René Chalupt

The journey


To set off before daybreak, feeling one’s way, before any rain,
without even thinking to ask one’s way;
to stumble from one fall to another, and, dragging one’s feet,
to travel one third of the way before midday;
to see the clouds gathering overhead,
treading through shifting sand,
running on through lashing storms,
towards an undefined and never-reached destiny;
then as evening approaches, drenched, to seek shelter,
arriving exhausted, to lie down and to fall asleep:
This is called being born, living and dying.
The will of God be done!

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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