Charles Baudelaire

Out of the Depths Have I Cried

I beg pity of Thee, the only one I love, From the depths of the dark pit where my heart has fallen, It's a gloomy world with a leaden horizon, Where through the night swim horror and blasphemy; A frigid sun floats overhead six months, And the other six months darkness covers the land; It's a land more bleak than the polar wastes - Neither beasts, nor streams, nor verdure, nor woods! But no horror in the world can surpass The cold cruelty of that glacial sun And this vast night which is like old Chaos; I envy the lot of the lowest animals Who are able to sink into a stupid sleep, So slowly does the skein of time unwind! Translated by - William Aggeler De Profundis Clamavi O my sole love, I pray thee pity me From out this dark gulf where my poor heart lies A barren world hemmed in by leaden skies Where horror flies at night, and blasphemy. For half the year the sickly sun is seen, The other half thick night lies on the land, A country bleaker than the polar strand; No beasts, no brooks, nor any shred of green. There never was a horror which surpassed This icy sun's cold cruelty, and this vast Night like primaeval Chaos; would I were Like the dumb brutes, who in a secret lair Lie wrapt in stupid slumber for a space... The time creeps at so burdensome a pace. Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Out of the Depths Sole Being I love, Your mercy I implore Out of the bitter pit of my heart's night, With leaden skyscapes on a dismal shore, Peopled only by blasphemy and fright; For six months frigid suns float overhead, For six months more darkness and solitude. No polar wastes are bleaker and more dead, With never beast nor stream nor plant nor wood. No horror in this world but is outdone By the cold razor of this glacial sun And this chaotic night's immensities. I envy the most humble beast that ease Which brings dull slumber to his brutish soul So slowly does my skein of time unroll. Translated by - Jacques LeClercq De Profundis Clamavi I do implore thy pity, Thou whom alone I love, Deep in this mournful vale wherein my heart is fallen. It is a world completely sad, where the low sullen Skies seem about to rain pure horror from above. A fireless sun swims over six months of every year; Six months of every year the earth is lost in shadow. It is a bleaker land than any Arctic meadow: Nor streams, nor flowers, nor fruits, nor birds, nor forests here! Surely there is no evil imaginable to compare With the cruelty of that cold sun in the cold air And that enormous night, like the first chaos of things; I envy the very animals, to whom slumber brings Over and over the gift of being thoughtless and blind, So slowly does the thread of these dark years unwind. Translated by - George Dillon De Profundis Clamavi Have pity, my one love and sole delight! Down to a dark abyss my heart has sounded, A mournful world, by grey horizons bounded, Where blasphemy and horror swim by night. For half the year a heatless sun gives light, The other half the night obscures the earth. The arctic regions never knew such dearth. No woods, nor streams, nor creatures meet the sight. No horror in the world could match in dread The cruelty of that dire sun of frost, And that huge night like primal chaos spread. I envy creatures of the vilest kind That they in stupid slumber can be lost - So slowly does the skein of time unwind! Translated by - Roy Campbell

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