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L'Aube spirituelle (Spiritual Dawn)

Charles Baudelaire 1821 (Paris) – 1867 (Paris)

Quand chez les débauchés l'aube blanche et vermeille
Entre en société de l'Idéal rongeur,
Par l'opération d'un mystère vengeur
Dans la brute assoupie un ange se réveille.

Des Cieux Spirituels l'inaccessible azur,
Pour l'homme terrassé qui rêve encore et souffre,
S'ouvre et s'enfonce avec l'attirance du gouffre.
Ainsi, chère Déesse, Etre lucide et pur,

Sur les débris fumeux des stupides orgies
Ton souvenir plus clair, plus rose, plus charmant,
À mes yeux agrandis voltige incessamment.

Le soleil a noirci la flamme des bougies;
Ainsi, toujours vainqueur, ton fantôme est pareil,
Ame resplendissante, à l'immortel soleil!
v
Spiritual Dawn

When debauchees are roused by the white, rosy dawn,
Escorted by the Ideal which gnaws at their hearts
Through the action of a mysterious, vengeful law,
In the somnolent brute an Angel awakens.

The inaccessible blue of Spiritual Heavens,
For the man thrown to earth who suffers and still dreams,
Opens and yawns with the lure of the abyss.
Thus, dear Goddess, Being, lucid and pure,

Over the smoking ruins of stupid orgies,
Your memory, clearer, more rosy, more charming,
Hovers incessantly before my widened eyes.

The sunlight has darkened the flame of the candles;
Thus, ever triumphant, resplendent soul!
Your phantom is like the immortal sun!

Translated by William Aggeler

--------------------------------- ---------------------------------

Spiritual Dawn

When in the company of the Ideal
(That gnawing tooth) Dawn enters, white and pink,
The rooms of rakes — each sated beast can feel
An Angel waking through the fumes of drink.

For downcast Man, who dreams and suffers still,
The azure of the mystic heaven above,
With gulf-like vertigo, attracts his will.
So, Goddess, lucid Being of pure love,

Over the smoking wreck of feasts and scandals,
Your phantom, rosy and enchanting, flies
And still returns to my dilated eyes.

The sun has blackened out the flame of candles.
So your victorious phantom seems as one,
O blazing spirit, with the deathless Sun!

Translated by Roy Campbell

--------------------------------- ---------------------------------

L'Aube spirituelle

when to the drunkard's room the flushing East
comes with her comrade sharply-clawed, the Dream,
she wakens, by a dark avenging scheme,
an angel in the dull besotted beast.

deep vaults of inaccessible azure there,
before the dreamer sick with many a phasm,
open, abysmal as a beckoning chasm.
thus, deity, all pure clear light and air,

over the stupid orgy's reeking track
brighter and lovelier yet, thine image flies
in fluttering rays before my widening eyes.

the sun has turned the candles' flame to black;
even so, victorious always, thou art one
resplendent spirit! — with the eternal sun!

Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:15 min read
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Charles Baudelaire

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. more…

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