Prayer, Translation of Paul Verlaine’s poem : Prière
(One of Paul Verlaine’s later poems, after having gone through early success as a poet, love, family life, and yet another kind of relationship with Rimbaud, crime, prison, drunkenness, unrequited love, divorce, and intense inner turmoil. T. Wignesan)
Here am I at Your feet, conscience-stricken as I should be.
I have known all the misfortune for having lost the way
And I have no more hope, and I’m without joy anyway
Excepting for one woman in whom I place holy trust, and whose
In my eyes more than anything else: hope and well-being so gay.
She’s goodness itself, she knows me from years and years ago
We shared days of gloom, bitterness, jealousy and guilt,
But we kept on going together, without any truce, towards the
Swayed from side to side, buffeted, at the mercy of all ebb and flow
Over the sea where dazzled the twinkle of stars’ favourable lilt :
Openness, the awful lassitude of sin
Without ever having to repent, nor wishing for either of us any
Well, this sprouting sense of peace, wasn’t it after all Your kingdom,
Jesus, whether you wish I repent withdrawn, hidden ?
Grant us our wish which cannot but be Your own.
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013