Charles Baudelaire


Under the dark yews which shade them, The owls are perched in rows, Like so many strange gods, Darting their red eyes. They meditate. Without budging they will remain Till that melancholy hour When, pushing back the slanting sun, Darkness will take up its abode. Their attitude teaches the wise That in this world one must fear Movement and commotion; Man, enraptured by a passing shadow, Forever bears the punishment Of having tried to change his place. Translated by - William Aggeler The Owls 'Neath their black yews in solemn state The owls are sitting in a row Like foreign gods; and even so Blink their red eyes; they meditate. Quite motionless they hold them thus Until at last the day is done, And, driving down the slanting sun, The sad night is victorious. They teach the wise who gives them ear That in this world he most should fear All things which loud or restless be. Who, dazzled by a passing shade, Follows it, never will be free Till the dread penalty be paid. Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Owls Beneath the shades of sombre yews, The silent owls sit ranged in rows, Like ancient idols, strangely pose, And darting fiery eyes, they muse. Immovable, they sit and gaze, Until the melancholy hour, At which the darknesses devour The faded sunset's slanting rays. Their attitude, instructs the wise, That he - within this world — who flies From tumult and from merriment; The man allured by a passing face, For ever bears the chastisement Of having wished to change his place. Translated by - Cyril Scott The Owls The owls that roost in the black yew Along one limb in solemn state, And with a red eye look you through, Are eastern gods; they meditate. No feather stirs on them, not one, Until that melancholy hour When night, supplanting the weak sun, Resumes her interrupted power. Their attitude instructs the wise To shun all action, all surprise. Suppose there passed a lovely face, - Who even longs to follow it, Must feel for ever the disgrace Of having all but moved a bit. Translated by - Edna St. Vincent Millay The Owls Protected under black yew trees, The owls are perched in neat arrays. They meditate with scarlet gaze, Resembling foreign deities. Unmoving, they will stay until That melancholic moment when, Pursuing close the slanting sun, Arrives the covering darkness chill. Their poise imparts to the astute That any motion not minute Should be abhorred. And those Whom passing shadows captivate Will never find a true repose For their desire to relocate. - Charles Martyn (charmar at gmail dot com) The Owls Within the shelter of black yews The owls in ranks are ranged apart Like foreign gods, whose eyeballs dart Red fire. They meditate and muse. Without a stir they will remain Till, in its melancholy hour, Thrusting the level sun from power, The shade establishes its reign. Their attitude instructs the sage, Content with what is near at hand, To shun all motion, strife, and rage. Men, crazed with shadows that they chase, Bear, as a punishment, the brand Of having wished to change their place. Translated by - Roy Campbell

Comment Section just now

Feel free to be first to leave comment.

8/2200 - 0