charles baudelaire | invitation to the voyage | l’invitation au voyage

14 06 2009

Poetry Dispatch No.287 | June 17, 2009

The Poetry Dispatch ‘100,000 Hit’ Celebration Continues
An Encore Baudelaire Performance

“Invitation to the Voyage”

Three Variations:
-A brilliant small-film/YouTube presentation,
-the poem in French,
-the poem in English, translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay

L’INVITATION AU VOYAGE

by Charles Baudelaire

Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D’aller là-bas vivre ensemble!
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble!
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Des meubles luisants,
Polis par les ans,
Décoreraient notre chambre;
Les plus rares fleurs
Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l’ambre,
Les riches plafonds,
Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
Tout y parlerait
À l’âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

Vois sur ces canaux
Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l’humeur est vagabonde;
C’est pour assouvir
Ton moindre désir
Qu’ils viennent du bout du monde.
–Les soleils couchants
Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
D’hyacinthe et d’or;
Le monde s’endort
Dans une chaude lumière.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

INVITATION TO THE VOYAGE

by Charles Baudelaire / Translation by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Think, would it not be
Sweet to live with me
All alone, my child, my love? –
Sleep together, share
All things, in that fair
Country you remind me of?
Charming in the dawn
There, the half-withdrawn
Drenched, mysterious sun appears
In the curdled skies,
Treacherous as your eyes
Shining from behind their tears.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

We should have a room
Never out of bloom:
Tables polished by the palm
Of the vanished hours
Should reflect rare flowers
In that amber-scented calm;
Ceilings richly wrought,
Mirrors deep as thought,
Walls with eastern splendor hung,
All should speak apart
To the homesick heart
In its own dear native tongue.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

See, their voyage past,
To their moorings fast,
On the still canals asleep,
These big ships; to bring
You some trifling thing
They have braved the furious deep.
–Now the sun goes down,
Tinting dyke and town,
Field, canal, all things in sight,
Hyacinth and gold;
All that we behold
Slumbers in its ruddy light.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

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One response

15 06 2009
Pat

Dear Norb:
What a delight to open this site and discover the exquisite poem “Invitation to the Voyage” translated by one of my favorite poets Edna St. Vincent Millay. Lush and lovely, the poem is a quiet feast of words transporting the reader to dream of that voyage…. Yesterday I read Edna’s poem “This is Mine,” from a volume with that title published after her death. Here she is again today surprising me with this lovely translation.

Many thanks and kindest regards,

Pat

p.s. I must say that the gun logo at Outlaw Poetry.net always disturbs me.

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