Friday 1 January 2021

Marie Dauguet: 'Le gueux'

Le gueux


J’aime accrocher mes pas au lierre et à la ronce

Et joindre en mes bouquets l’ajonc au romarin,

J’aime l'odeur amère et forte des sapins

Quand au vent pluvieux leur branchage se fonce.


La sauvage forêt m’accueille où je m’enfonce,

Douce en son âpreté à mes désirs sans freins,

Et j’y marche, oublieux des maigres boulingrins

Et des jardiniers fous alignant leur quinconce.


L’heure est bonne! Je veux boire au creux de ma main

Son flot est clair, sans souci de l’ultime demeure;

Car je suis ce Passant qui, loin du grand chemin,


Pensif et souriant à tout ce qui nous leurre,

Erre par le sentier que nul pied n’a foulé,

Mordant à son bonheur comme en un fruit volé.


15 août 1901



The beggar


I love my steps to catch on ivy and on briars

And place in my bouquets of rosemary some gorse,

I love the fir trees’ scent, so bitter and so coarse

When in a rain-filled wind their branches twine like wires.


The untamed forests welcome me as they enclose,

Gentle though harsh at unrestrained desires of mine

When there I walk, forgetting meagre lawns in line

And insane gardeners aligning staggered rows.


The hour is good! from my cupped hand I wish to drink,

Its stream is clear, its final home it does not grieve;

For I’m a Traveller, from beaten tracks I shrink,


Pensive and with a smile at all which would deceive,

I roam along the path not part of any route,

Munching on happiness as on some stolen fruit.


15 August 1901


1 comment:

John Irons said...

on the internet, line line ends in the word 'rose' (=rose). this seems highly unlikely, since the rhyme scheme points strongly towards 'ronce' (= briar). and the sense of the first four lines is also disturbed by the intrusion of a cultivated, sweet-smelling plant. the poet says that ivy and gorse, pungent smells, are preferred. these are nature's own smells, and the insertion into a bouquet of rosemary is a conscious attempt to make the point. so i go for RONCE - SE FONCE - M'ENFONCE - QUINCONCE. i wonder if it this is a transcription error, that someone misread her handwriting?