Charles Baudelaire

Ever the Same

"Whence comes to you, you asked, this singular sadness That rises like the sea on the naked, black rock?" - Once our heart has gathered the grapes from its vineyard, Living is an evil. That's a secret known to all, A simple pain, with no mystery, As obvious to all men as your gaiety. So abandon your search, inquisitive beauty; And though your voice is sweet, be still! Be silent, ignorant! ever enraptured soul! Mouth with the child-like laugh! Still more than Life, Death holds us frequently with subtle bonds. Translated by - William Aggeler Semper Eadem "Whence," ask you, "is this heavy sadness shed. Rising like ocean round the bare black stone?" When the heart's crop has once been harvested Life is a burden! 'Tis of all men known. A simple grief and not mysterious, Blown like thy joy for all the world: so cease, Cease, O fair questioner, to probe me thus, And, though thy voice be gentle, hold thy peace. Hold thy peace, rapturous one! Child's mouth so rife With merriment. Death's links with us oft seem Subtler than those which bind our souls to Life. Let, let my heart grow drunken with a lie, And plunge in thy great eyes as in a dream. And slumber 'neath thy lashes tranquilly! Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Semper eadam you asked: "what floods of gloom engulf you - strange as creeping tides against a bare black wall?" - when hearts once crush their grapes and close the grange, life is an evil. secret known to all, 'tis but the common grief each man betrays to all, as you your joy, in eyes or brow so veil, my fair one, your inquiring gaze and though your voice is low, be silent now! be silent, simple soul! mouth always gay with girlish laughter! more than Life, today, Death binds our hearts with tenuous webs of doom; let mine be drunken with the wine of lies, o let me delve for dreams in those deep eyes and slumber long beneath your eyebrows' gloom! Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks Semper Eadem "From whence it comes, you ask, this gloom acute, Like waves that o'er the rocky headland fall?" When once our hearts have gathered in their fruit, To live is a curse! a secret known to all, A grief, quite simple, nought mysterious, And like your joy - for all, both loud and shrill, Nay cease to clamor, be not e'er so curious! And yet although your voice is sweet, be still! Be still, O soul, with rapture ever rife! O mouth, with the childish smile! Far more than Life, The subtle bonds of Death around us twine. Let - let my heart, the wine of falsehood drink, And dream-like, deep within your fair eyes sink, And in the shade of thy lashes long recline! Translated by - Cyril Scott Semper Eadem "What in the world," you said, "has brought on this black mood, Climbing you as the sea climbs up a naked reef?" - When once the heart has made its harvest (understood By all men, this) why, just to be alive is grief: A pain quite simple, nothing mysterious at all, And like that joy of yours, patent to all we meet; Stop asking questions, then, I beg of you, and fall Silent a while, fair prober, though your voice be sweet. Ah, yes, be silent, ignorant girl, always so gay, Mouth with the childlike laughter! More than Life, I say, Death has the power to hold us by most subtle ties. My one fictitious comfort, kindly, let me keep: To plunge as into dreams into your lovely eyes, And in the shadow of your lashes fall asleep. Translated by - Edna St. Vincent Millay Semper Eadem "Whence," ask you, "does this strange new sadness flow Like rising tides on rocks, black, bare, and vast?" For human hearts, when vintage-time is past, To live is bad. That secret all men know - An obvious sorrow, with no mystery, shown, Clear as your joy, to everyone around. O curious one, seek nothing more profound, And speak not, though your voice be sweet in tone. Hush, ignorant! Hush, soul that's still enraptured, And mouth of childish laughter! Neatly captured, Death pulls us, more than life, with subtle wile. Oh let my thought get drunk upon a lie, And plunge, as in a dream, in either eye, And in their lashes' shadow sleep awhile! Translated by - Roy Campbell

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