I’ll Not Forget
(From the French of Charles Baudelaire)

I’ll not forget, close to the town,
our little white house… so tranquil it was,
with its statue of Venus and the goddess of fruits,
their charms partly hidden by spindly leaves.
And the sunbeams at evening, streaming, superb,
through the panes of the window seemed to scatter like spray.
That great, curious eye, that inquisitive sky,
which quietly, silently, watched as we dined,
spreading wide their reflections in a candle-light glow
on our delicate linen and curtains of serge.

Je n’ai pas oublié, voisine de la ville,
Notre blanch maison, petite mais tranquille;
Sa Pomone de plâtre et sa vieille Vénus
Dans un bosquet chétif cachant leurs membres nus;
Et le soleil, le soir, ruisselant et superbe,
Qui, derrière la vitre oùse brisait sa gerbe,
Semblait, grande oeil ouvert dans le ciel curieux,
Contempler nos dîners longs et silencieux,
Répandant largement ses beaux reflets de cierge
Sur la nappe frugale et les rideaux de serge.

(From ‘Journeys in Time’)

4 thoughts on “Idyll

  1. Absolutely beautiful. I love the rhythm and assonance and, as far as my limited French will allow me to judge, you seem to have captured the tone of the original to perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jacydo. Yes, capturing the tone was the thing. I found I wasn’t able to adopt the original rhyme-scheme, so had to use those little tricks of rhythm, assonance etc., which must then come into play. I added a ‘That’s All’ to the main heading as it’s unusual for me, these days, not to go galloping off with pages of interminable notes of one kind or another. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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