To Don Quixote, Translation of Paul Verlaine’s sonnet : A Don Quichotte
(Poem written in March 1861 that I would Verlaine had
dedicated to the Grand Dear Old Man of Letters : Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra - with kind permission, of course, sought by me and which I know he wouldn’t withhold. T. Wignesan)
O ! Don Quixote, medieval princely champion, incomparable
Only in vain does the absurd and vile crowd laugh at you :
You died as a martyr and your life remains a poem,
And the windmills wronged you, O ! King true !
Always keep going, keep going, protected by your faith,
Astride your fantastic charger that I cannot but love.
Sublime gleaner, forward ! – those the law wraps in moth
Balls are more numerous, more staggering than bygone days
Hurrah ! We follow in your steps, we, the saintly horde of poets
Dishevelled, our heads wrapped in verveine tights.
Lead us on to assault high-strung fantasies,
And soon enough, in spite of every form of treason,
Up on high will flap our winged standard of Poesies
Over the hoary skull of our inept reason !
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013