Moesta et Errabunda (Grieving and Wandering)

Charles Baudelaire 1821 (Paris) – 1867 (Paris)



Dis-moi ton coeur parfois s'envole-t-il, Agathe,
Loin du noir océan de l'immonde cité
Vers un autre océan où la splendeur éclate,
Bleu, clair, profond, ainsi que la virginité?
Dis-moi, ton coeur parfois s'envole-t-il, Agathe?

La mer la vaste mer, console nos labeurs!
Quel démon a doté la mer, rauque chanteuse
Qu'accompagne l'immense orgue des vents grondeurs,
De cette fonction sublime de berceuse?
La mer, la vaste mer, console nos labeurs!

Emporte-moi wagon! enlève-moi, frégate!
Loin! loin! ici la boue est faite de nos pleurs!
— Est-il vrai que parfois le triste coeur d'Agathe
Dise: Loin des remords, des crimes, des douleurs,
Emporte-moi, wagon, enlève-moi, frégate?

Comme vous êtes loin, paradis parfumé,
Où sous un clair azur tout n'est qu'amour et joie,
Où tout ce que l'on aime est digne d'être aimé,
Où dans la volupté pure le coeur se noie!
Comme vous êtes loin, paradis parfumé!

Mais le vert paradis des amours enfantines,
Les courses, les chansons, les baisers, les bouquets,
Les violons vibrant derrière les collines,
Avec les brocs de vin, le soir, dans les bosquets,
— Mais le vert paradis des amours enfantines,

L'innocent paradis, plein de plaisirs furtifs,
Est-il déjà plus loin que l'Inde et que la Chine?
Peut-on le rappeler avec des cris plaintifs,
Et l'animer encor d'une voix argentine,
L'innocent paradis plein de plaisirs furtifs?

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

Grieving and Wandering

Tell me, does your heart sometimes fly away, Agatha,
Far from the black ocean of the filthy city,
Toward another ocean where splendor glitters,
Blue, clear, profound, as is virginity?
Tell me, does your heart sometimes fly away, Agatha?

The sea, the boundless sea, consoles us for our toil!
What demon endowed the sea, that raucous singer,
Whose accompanist is the roaring wind,
With the sublime function of cradle-rocker?
The sea, the boundless sea, consoles us for our toil!

Take me away, carriage! Carry me off, frigate!
Far, far away! Here the mud is made with our tears!
— Is it true that sometimes the sad heart of Agatha
Says: Far from crimes, from remorse, from sorrow,
Take me away, carriage, carry me off, frigate?

How far away you are, O perfumed Paradise,
Where under clear blue sky there's only love and joy,
Where all that one loves is worthy of love,
Where the heart is drowned in sheer enjoyment!
How far away you are, O perfumed Paradise!

But the green Paradise of childhood loves
The outings, the singing, the kisses, the bouquets,
The violins vibrating behind the hills,
And the evenings in the woods, with jugs of wine
— But the green Paradise of childhood loves,

That sinless Paradise, full of furtive pleasures,
Is it farther off now than India and China?
Can one call it back with plaintive cries,
And animate it still with a silvery voice,
That sinless Paradise full of furtive pleasures?

Translated by William Aggeler

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

Moesta et Errabunda

Agatha, does your heart rise up and fly,
Far from the city's black and sordid sea
Towards a sea that's blue as any sky,
And clear and deep as pure virginity?
Agatha, does your heart rise up and fly?

The sea, the mighty sea, consoles our labour.
What demon taught the sea with raucous verse
To choir the organ which the winds belabour
And lullaby our sorrows like a nurse?
The sea, the mighty sea, consoles our labour.

Train, bear me; take me, ship, to other climes!
Far, far! For here the mud is made of tears.
— Does Agatha's sad heart not say, at times,
'Far from remorses, sorrows, crimes, and fears,
Train, bear me; take me, ship, to other climes'?

How distant is that perfumed paradise!
Where all is joy and love with azure crowned,
Where all one loves is truly worth the price,
And hearts in pure voluptuousness are drowned.
How distant is that perfumed paradise!

But the green paradise of childish love,
Of races, songs, and kisses, and bouquets,
Of fiddles shrilling in the hills above,
And jars of wine, and woods, and dying rays —
But the green paradise of childish love,

innocent paradise of furtive joys,
Is it far off as India or Hong Kong?
Could it be conjured by a plaintive voice
Or animated by a silver song —
That far off paradise of furtive joys?

Translated by Roy Campbell

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

Moesta Et Errabunda

Agatha, tell me, thy heart — does it sometimes fly away,
Far from the vast dark ocean of the mournful town,
Toward one still vaster, mirroring the blue, blue day,
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 01, 2023

3:52 min read
275

Quick analysis:

Scheme AbbbA CcccC BcacB DxdeD CcccC CeceC x AbcbA FgbgF BcaxB CxhbC CcceC CeccC g B IcibI GcgcG CcccC CbcbC HchcH cjcjc x B xeg
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,514
Words 756
Stanzas 24
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 1, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 1, 1, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 1, 1, 3

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…

All Charles Baudelaire poems | Charles Baudelaire Books

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