Charles Baudelaire


Be quiet and more discreet, O my Grief. You cried out for the Evening; even now it falls: A gloomy atmosphere envelops the city, Bringing peace to some, anxiety to others. While the vulgar herd of mortals, under the scourge Of Pleasure, that merciless torturer, Goes to gather remorse in the servile festival, My Grief, give me your hand; come this way Far from them. See the dead years in old-fashioned gowns Lean over the balconies of heaven; Smiling Regret rise from the depths of the waters; The dying Sun fall asleep beneath an arch, and Listen, darling, to the soft footfalls of the Night That trails off to the East like a long winding-sheet. Translated by - William Aggeler Meditation Be wise, O my Sorrow, be calmer. You implored the evening; it falls; here it is: A dusky air surrounds the town, Bringing peace to some, worry to others. Whilst the worthless crowd of humanity, Lashed by Pleasure, that merciless torturer, Go to gather remorse in slavish rejoicing, Give me your hand, my Sorrow; come with me, Far from them. See the dead years leaning, In worn-out clothing, on the balconies of the skies; See how Regret, grinning, rises from the deep waters; The dying sun goes to sleep in an archway, And, like a long shroud dragging from the East, Hear, O my dear one, hear the soft night coming. Translated by - Geoffrey Wagner Recueillement lie still, my Dolour; let thy tossing cease. didst call for Night: 'tis falling now: for see! bearing to some her care, to some her peace, the evening robes the town with mystery. while all the herd in vulgar revelries, 'neath Pleasure's lash, that falls implacably, now runs to cull remorse from vanities, my Dolour, give thy hand and come with me to ways apart. lo, all our years gone by, in robes outworn, bend from the balconied sky: from waters deep arise our Joys deceased: the sun is dying now beneath an arch: and, like a long shroud trailing from the east, - hark, dear! — Night softly starts her shadowy march. Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks Meditation Be wise, O my Woe, seek thy grievance to drown, Thou didst call for the night, and behold it is here, An atmosphere sombre, envelopes the town, To some bringing peace and to others a care. Whilst the manifold souls of the vile multitude, 'Neath the lash of enjoyment, that merciless sway, Go plucking remorse from the menial brood, From them far, O my grief, hold my hand, come this way. Behold how they beckon, those years, long expired, From Heaven, in faded apparel attired, How Regret, smiling, foams on the waters like yeast; Its arches of slumber the dying sun spreads, And like a long winding-sheet dragged to the East, Oh, hearken Beloved, how the Night softly treads! Translated by - Cyril Scott Meditation Calm down, my Sorrow, we must move with care. You called for evening; it descends, it's here. The town is coffined in its atmosphere, bringing relief to some, to others care. Now while the common multitude strips bare, feels pleasure's cat o' nine tails on its back, and fights off anguish at the great bazaar, give me your hand, my Sorrow. Let's stand back; back from these people! Look, the dead years dressed in old clothes crowd the balconies of the sky. Regret emerges smiling from the sea, the sick sun slumbers underneath an arch, and like a shroud strung out from east to west, listen, my Dearest, hear the sweet night march! Translated by - Robert Lowell Self-Communion Rest still, lie quiet, be chastened, O my Grief, Who summoned evening. Lo, it falls! The air Deepens as dusk receives the town in fief, Bringing content to some, to others care. While the base herds of mortals seek relief Under the lash of hangman Pleasure where Timeless, Remorse crowns passions that are brief, Grief, O my grief, your hand; let us repair Far hence, aloof. Behold the spent Years press On Heaven's high balconies in old-world dress; Regret rise from the waters, smiling bright; Under an arch, the sun die somnolent, And shroud-like, trailing to the orient, Hark, Love, my love, how softly steals the Night. Translated by - Jacques LeClercq Meditation Be good, my Sorrow: hush now: settle down. You sighed for dusk, and now it comes: look there! A denser atmosphere obscures the town, To some restoring peace, to others care. While the lewd multitude, like hungry beasts, By pleasure scourged (no thug so fierce as he!) Go forth to seek remorse among their feasts - Come, take my hand; escape from them with me. From balconies of sky, around us yet, Lean the dead years in fashions that have ceased. Out of the depth of waters smiles Regret. The sun sinks moribund beneath an arch, And like a long shroud rustling from the East, Hark, Love, the gentle Night is on the march. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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