Charles Baudelaire

The Sun

Along the old street on whose cottages are hung The slatted shutters which hide secret lecheries, When the cruel sun strikes with increased blows The city, the country, the roofs, and the wheat fields, I go alone to try my fanciful fencing, Scenting in every corner the chance of a rhyme, Stumbling over words as over paving stones, Colliding at times with lines dreamed of long ago. This foster-father, enemy of chlorosis, Makes verses bloom in the fields like roses; He makes cares evaporate toward heaven, And fills with honey hives and brains alike. He rejuvenates those who go on crutches And gives them the sweetness and gaiety of girls, And commands crops to flourish and ripen In those immortal hearts which ever wish to bloom! When, like a poet, he goes down into cities, He ennobles the fate of the lowliest things And enters like a king, without servants or noise, All the hospitals and all the castles. Translated by - William Aggeler The Sun In this old district, where the shabby houses hide Behind drawn shutters many a furtive lust inside, In the fierce rays of noon, which mercilessly beat On town and country, on the roofs and on the wheat, I walk alone, absorbed in my fantastic play, - Fencing with rhymes, which, parrying nimbly, back away; Tripping on words, as on rough paving in the street, Or bumping into verses I long had dreamed to meet. The sun, our nourishing father, anemia's deadly foe, Makes poems, as if poems were roses, bud and grow; Burns through the anxious mists of every mind alive, And fills with honey the celled brain as the celled hive. 'Tis he who makes the man on crutches stump along As gay as a young girl, humming as sweet a song; Calls to the human spirit to climb and ripen still - Which would bloom on for ever, could it have its will. He goes into the city, where, like the poet, his light Ennobles and gives purpose to the least thing in sight; Or, quietly, unattended, like a king, he calls At every palace, and visits all the hospitals. Translated by - Edna St. Vincent Millay The Sun Along the outskirts where, close-sheltering Hid lusts, dilapidated shutters swing, When the sun strikes, redoubling waves of heat On town, and field, and roof, and dusty street - I prowl to air my prowess and kill time, Stalking, in likely nooks, the odds of rhyme, Tripping on words like cobbles as I go And bumping into lines dreamed long ago. This all-providing Sire, foe to chloroses, Wakes verses in the fields as well as roses Evaporates one's cares into the breeze, Filling with honey brains and hives of bees, Rejuvenating those who go on crutches And bringing youthful joy to all he touches, Life to those precious harvests he imparts That grow and ripen in our deathless hearts. Poet-like, through the town he seems to smile Ennobling fate for all that is most vile; And king-like, without servants or display, Through hospitals and mansions makes his way. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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