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O Delices D’Amour!

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

O délices d'amour! et toi, molle paresse,
Vous aurez donc usé mon oisive jeunesse!
Les belles sont partout. Pour chercher les beaux-arts,
Des Alpes vainement j'ai franchi les remparts;
Rome d'amours en foule assiège mon asile,
Sage vieillesse, accours! Ô déesse tranquille,
De ma jeune saison éteins ces feux brûlants,
Sage vieillesse! Heureux qui, dès ses premiers ans,
A senti de son sang, dans ses veines stagnantes,
Couler d'un pas égal les ondes languissantes;
Dont les désirs jamais n'ont troublé la raison;
Pour qui les yeux n'ont point de suave poison;
Au sein de qui jamais une absente perdue
N'a laissé l'aiguillon d'une trop belle vue;
Qui, s'il regarde et loue un front si gracieux,
Ne le voit plus, sitôt qu'il n'est plus sous ses yeux!
Doux et cruels tyrans, brillantes héroïnes,
Femmes, de ma mémoire habitantes divines,
Fantômes enchanteurs, cessez de m'égarer.
O mon coeur! ô mes sens! laissez-moi respirer.
Laissez-moi dans la paix de l'ombre solitaire
Travailler à loisir quelque oeuvre noble et fière
Qui, sur l'amas des temps propre à se maintenir,
Me recommande aux yeux des âges à venir.
Mais, non! j'implore en vain un repos favorable;
Je t'appartiens, Amour, Amour inexorable!

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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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