Charles Baudelaire

Evil Fate

To lift a weight so heavy, Would take your courage, Sisyphus! Although one's heart is in the work, Art is long and Time is short. Far from famous sepulchers Toward a lonely cemetery My heart, like muffled drums, Goes beating funeral marches. Many a jewel lies buried In darkness and oblivion, Far, far away from picks and drills; Many a flower regretfully Exhales perfume soft as secrets In a profound solitude. Translated by - William Aggeler Ill-Luck O Sisyphus, thy strength were meet A load so heavy to sustain; The soul for work is very fain, But Art is long, and Time is fleet. Towards a lonely cemetery From all famed sepulchres apart. Like to a muffled drum my heart Beats funeral marches ceaselessly. Jewels many and many a one Lie hid in dark oblivion Far, far from pick or plummet's ken; Many sweet flowers' scented breath Is lavished till they fade in death In solitudes untrod by men. Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Ill-Starred A man would needs be brave and strong As Sisyphus, for such a task! It is not greater zeal I ask - But life is brief, and art is long. To a forsaken mound of clay Where no admirers ever come, My heart, like an invisible drum, Goes beating a dead march all day. Many a jewel of untold worth Lies slumbering at the core of earth, In darkness and oblivion drowned; Many a flower has bloomed and spent The secret of its passionate scent Upon the wilderness profound. Translated by - George Dillon III Luck So huge a burden to support Your courage, Sisyphus, would ask; Well though my heart attacks its task, Yet Art is long and Time is short. Far from the famed memorial arch Towards a lonely grave I come. My heart in its funereal march Goes beating like a muffled drum. - Yet many a gem lies hidden still Of whom no pick-axe, spade, or drill The lonely secrecy invades; And many a flower, to heal regret, Pours forth its fragrant secret yet Amidst the solitary shades. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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