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Translation of Marcel Moreau's A L'Amour by T Wignesan
Translation of the Elegy: On Marceline Desbordes-Valmore - À L'amour - Poem by Marcel Moreau Translated by T. Wignesan Reprends de ce bouquet les trompeuses couleurs, (Take back the dubious colours of this bouquet) Ces lettres qui font mon supplice, (These letters the cause of my calvaire) Ce portrait qui fut ton complice; (This portrait which once was your peer ) Il te ressemble, il rit, tout baigné de mes pleurs. (It looks like you, it laughs, my tears full it bathe) Je te rends ce trésor funeste, (I let you take back this damnable treasure) Ce froid témoin de mon affreux ennui. (This cold reminder of my painful boredom.) Ton souvenir brûlant, que je déteste, (Your scorching memory which I cannot endure) Sera bientôt froid comme lui. (Will like the portrait turn cold soon) Oh! Reprends tout. Si ma main tremble encore, (Oh ! Take all back. If my hand still trembles) C'est que j'ai cru te voir sous ces traits que j'abhorre. (It's probably due to the abhorrent underlying features) Oui, j'ai cru rencontrer le regard d'un trompeur; (Yes, I thought I perceived his looks treacherous) Ce fantôme a troublé mon courage timide. (This phantom has rendered my courage timid.) Ciel! On peut donc mourir à l'aspect d'un perfide, (Heavens ! One can even die from a perfidious spectre) Si son ombre fait tant de peer (If his shadow does indeed cause much fear) Comme ces feux errants dont le reflet égare, (Like errant fires whose reflections disappear) La flamme de ses yeux a passé devant moi; (The flame of your eyes dance past me after) Je rougis d'oublier qu'enfin tout nous sépare; (I blush forgetting that in fact we have nothing in common) Mais je n'en rougis que pour toi. (But I only do so for your sake) Que mes froids sentiments s'expriment avec peine! (May my frozen sentiments be laboriously expressed !) Amour... que je te hais de m'apprendre la haine! (Love… I'm damned hating you teaching me how to hate !) Eloigne-toi, reprends ces trompeuses couleurs, (Take back the dubious colours of this bouquet) Ces lettres, qui font mon supplice, (These letters the cause of my calvaire) Ce portrait, qui fut ton complice; (This portrait which once was your peer) Il te ressemble, il rit, tout baigné de mes pleurs! (It looks like you, it laughs, my tears full it bathe) Cache au moins ma colère au cruel qui t'envoie, (Conceal at least my anger to the hard-hearted who this sends) Dis que j'ai tout brisé, sans larmes, sans efforts; (Say that I have destroyed all, without effort, without tears) En lui peignant mes douloureux transports, (By relating to him the anguish of my insufferable feelings) Tu lui donnerais trop de joie. (You will confer on him joy that never ends) Reprends aussi, reprends les écrits dangereux, (Take also back, take back your dangerous writings) Où, cachant sous des fleurs son premier artifice, (Where hiding beneath flowers his first artifice ) Il voulut essayer sa cruauté novice (He had wanted to foist his cruelty as a novice) Sur un cœur simple et malheureux. (Over a simple heart doomed through pinings ) Quand tu voudras encore égarer l'innocence, (When you might want to lose your innocence) Quand tu voudras voir brûler et languir, (When you might want to see it all burn and languish) Quand tu voudras faire aimer et mourir, (When you might wish to be loved and perish ) N'emprunte pas d'autre éloquence. (Do not seek to use other forms of eloquence ) L'art de séduire est là, comme il est dans son coeur! (The art of seduction is there as it is in your heart !) Va! Tu n'as plus besoin d'étude. (Go ! You have no need for advice.) Sois léger par penchant, ingrat par habitude, (Be frivolous by nature, ungrateful by practice ) Donne la fièvre, amour, et garde ta froideur. (Proffer fever, love, but maintain the coldness of heart) Ne change rien aux aveux pleins de charmes. (Change nothing of the professions of love full of charm) Dont la magie entraîne au désespoir: (Since such magic leads one to despair : ) Tu peux de chaque mot calculer le pouvoir, (You can with each word calculate its power ) Et choisir ceux encore imprégnés de mes larmes... (And choose yet those words which with my tears swarm) Il n'ose me répondre, il s'envole... il est loin. (He dares to respond, he takes flight… he's far gone.) Puisse-t-il d'un ingrat éterniser l'absence! (Could he but such an ungrateful one forever feel the absence !) Il faudrait par fierté sourire en sa présence: (One should, emboldened with pride, smile in his presence :) J'aime mieux souffrir sans témoin. (I'd rather suffer all alone.) Il ne reviendra plus, il sait que je l'abhorre; (He will no more return, he knows how I abhor him) Je l'ai dit à l'amour, qui déjà s'est enfui. (I have with loving words told him, he has already gone away.) S'il osait revenir, je le dirais encore: (If he dares return, I'd tell him the same again : ) Mais on approche, on parle... hélas! Ce n'est pas lui! (But one comes close, one talks… alas ! It's not him !) Recueil: Élégies (1830) . Marceline Desbordes-Valmore From the collection: Élégies (1830) . Marceline Desbordes-Valmore © T. Wignesan - Paris, March 4, 2019
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