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Ainsi, Lorsque Souvent

Andre Marie de Chenier 1762 (Constantinople) – 1794 (Paris)



Ainsi, lorsque souvent le gouvernail agile
De Douvre ou de Tanger fend la route mobile,
Au fond du noir vaisseau sur la vague roulant
Le passager languit malade et chancelant.
Son regard obscurci meurt. Sa tête pesante
Tourne comme le vent qui souffle la tourmente,
Et son coeur nage et flotte en son sein agité
Comme de bonds en bonds le navire emporté.
Il croit sentir sous lui fuir la planche légère.
Triste et pâle, il se couche, et la nausée amère
Soulève sa poitrine, et sa bouche à longs flots
Inonde les tapis destinés au repos.
Il verrait sans chagrin la mort et le naufrage:
Stupide, il a perdu sa force et son courage.
Il ne retrouve plus ses membres engourdis.
Il ne peut secourir son ami ni son fils,
Ni soutenir son père, et sa main faible et lente
Ne peut serrer la main de sa femme expirante.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Andre Marie de Chenier

André Marie Chénier was a French poet of Greek and Franco-Levantine origin, associated with the events of the French Revolution of which he was a victim. His sensual, emotive poetry marks him as one of the precursors of the Romantic movement. His career was brought to an abrupt end when he was guillotined for supposed "crimes against the state", just three days before the end of the Reign of Terror. Chénier's life has been the subject of Umberto Giordano's opera Andrea Chénier and other works of art. more…

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