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Duparc - La vie antérieure

La vie antérieure

Duparc (1884)

J'ai longtemps habité sous de vastes portiques
Que les soleils marins teignaient de mille feux,
Et que leurs grands piliers, droits et majestueux,
Rendaient pareils, le soir, aux grottes basaltiques.

Les houles, en roulant les images des cieux,
Mêlaient d'une façon solennelle et mystique
Les tout-puissants accords de leur riche musique
Aux couleurs du couchant reflété par mes yeux.

C'est là que j'ai vécu dans les voluptés calmes,
Au milieu de l'azur, des vagues, des splendeurs
Et des esclaves nus, tout imprégnés d'odeurs,

Qui me rafraîchissaient le front avec des palmes,
Et dont l'unique soin était d'approfondir
Le secret douloureux qui me faisait languir.

Charles Baudelaire

The former life


Long did I live beneath vast porticoes
which the marine suns tinted with a thousand fires
and which their great, tall and majestic pillars
made them, at evening, resemble the basaltic caves.

The waves, while rolling the reflections of the skies,
mixed, in a solemn and mysterious way,
the all-powerful harmonies of their rich music
into the colours of the sunset reflected by my eyes.

It is there that I lived among the peaceful pleasures,
in the middle of the azure, the waves, the splendours
and the naked slaves, saturated in scents,

who cooled my brow with palm leaves,
and whose only care was to deapen
the painful secret which was making me languish.

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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