Sunday 7 April 2024

Dèr Mouw: '* Oui, le monde défend qu'à mes lèvres tu jettes'

 


*

 

Oui, le monde défend qu’à mes lèvres tu jettes

tes lèvres, tes cheveux, la grâce de ton corps:

Éros nous conduira riant vers son char d’or

aux roues de soleils, attelé de comètes;

 

il brandira la foudre, arrachée aux tempêtes,

et, fouettant son quadrige, il prendra son essor.

Et je t'étreindrai dans mes bras, toi, mon trésor,

qui dans tes yeux profonds l’univers me reflètes.

 

Rêvant nous atteindrons le seuil de l’empyrée,

et nous ne verrons point la poussière argentée

d’étoiles que le char fable soulèvera,

 

car nos âmes seront une bouche enivrée,

et je te porterai tremblant vers Jéhova,

ma bouche sur ta bouche. Et Lui nous sourira.

 

 

*


Yes, to my lips the world forbids that you should throw

your lips, your locks, your body’s grace fair to behold:

Eros will lead us to his chariot of gold

with suns for wheels and hitched with comets, tails aglow.

 

He’ll brandish lightning, wrested from storms’ blows perverse,

and, urging his four steeds, will swiftly upwards steer

And I will clasp you in my arms, my treasure dear,

who in your eyes’ great depths reflect my universe.

 

Dreaming, we’ll gain the threshold of the Empyreal

and fail to see the silv’ry dust of stars each wheel

of Eros’ fabled chariot makes swirl meanwhile,

 

since our two souls will be one mouth in ecstasy,

and I will bring you to Jehovah tremblingly,

my mouth upon your mouth. And He’ll give us a smile.

 

Dèr Mouw: III ('Aimes-tu la cascade et ses frais carillons?')


 

III

 

Aimes-tu la cascade et ses frais carillons? –

J’arracherai, riant de délire extatique,

le Caucase rêveur, l’Himalaya mystique,

contemplateurs pieux des constellations,

 

et faisant des glaciers de glauques bastions,

je ruerai du sommet la fureur Atlantique,

et le rugissement de l’apocalyptique

tonnerre secouera les astres de frissons;

 

et la Voie Lactée, ondoyante dentelle,

aux cornes de la lune oblique je nouerai,

de mon sublime amour bannière solennelle,

 

et pour illuminer l’horreur universelle,

flambeau majestueux, au bord je dresserai

le Vésuve effrayant, de foudres panaché.

 

 

III

 

Do you love the great cataract’s fresh carillonade? –

With ecstatic frenzy, I’ll laughingly then wrest

off dreaming Caucasus, strange Himalayan crests,

those pious viewers of the endless stars’ brocade,

 

and of their glaciers fashion strongholds filled with gloom,

will make stampede the Atlantic Ocean’s furious ire

and with apocalyptic thunder’s roar so dire

will shake the heav’nly bodies with a quake of doom;

 

and the vast Milky Way, that rippling veil of lace,

I’ll bind to the horns of the moon obliquely skewed,

a solemn banner of my love sublime in place,

 

and to light up the cosmic horror’s uncurbed sway,

at its edge I will raise, majestic torch bright-hued,

the grim Vesuvius, with lightnings’ myriad spray.

 

 

Saturday 6 April 2024

Dèr Mouw: II 'Que veut ton jeune cœur, pour être un peu content?'

 


II

 

Que veut ton jeune cœur, pour être un peu content?

Par quoi de ta pensée éclairer le dédale?

Aimes-tu voir un feu d'artifice, où l’opale

semble éclore en bluets parmi des blés d’argent?

 

Alors pour toi j’irai, chasseur obéissant,

jusqu’à l'Ourse saisir l’aurore boréale,

et je l’accrocherai, phalène sidérale,

au sommet du Vésuve, épingle d’or flambant;

 

et dans l’immensité de l’horreur étoilée,

je dompterai vainqueur la comète effrénée,

papillon monstrueux des fleurs de l’infini,

 

et la ferai voler, au Vésuve liée

afin que, l’univers murmurant ébloui,

distraitement tu daignes dire: ‘C’est joli!’

 

 

II

 

What does your young heart need for a contented sigh?

What can help light a path through your thoughts’ maze of streams?

Do you like seeing fireworks where the opal seems

like blooming cornflowers in bright silver fields of sky?

 

Then I, obedient hunter, will at once depart

for the Great Bear to seize the northern lights, which I,

like some sidereal moth, will seek to fasten high

on Mount Vesuvius, a shimmering gold dart;

 

and in the vastness of the starry ghastliness

I will rein in the unbridled comet’s frenzied course,

this monstrous butterfly of flowering endlessness,

 

and, to Vesuvius bound, will give it such a flight,

the universe quite dazzled by this show of force,

that you will deign to say: ‘Oh, what a lovely sight!’

 


Friday 5 April 2024

Dèr Mouw: First of four sonnets in French (Mon âme, jusqu'au bouts de mes doigts s'allongeant')


 

I

 

Mon âme, jusqu’aux bouts de mes doigts s’allongeant,

erre sur tes cheveux, tâtonneuse ravie;

libation des morts, ton parfum rend la vie

à l’ombre d’un amour, depuis longtemps dormant;

 

et le chant de mon sang montant immensément,

balayant du passé toute la triste lie,

ma bouche amoureuse boit l’extase bénie,

sur la lisse lueur de tes cheveux glissant.

 

Vois-tu? La scarabée, elle-même étincelle,

avant de s’envoler vers la clarté jumelle,

meut ses antennes: sens frémir mes doigts nerveux,

 

antennes de mon âme: elle attend que son aile

de l’odorant éclat de tes très chers cheveux

l’emporte augustement vers l’abîme des cieux.

 

 

I

 

My soul, which to my fingertips has sought to creep,

roams rapturously through the tresses of your hair;

libation of the dead, your perfume now makes flare

once more the shadow of a love long lost in sleep;

 

and the song of my blood takes flight and soars aloft,

banishing from the past all lees of misery,

my mouth suffused with love drinks blessèd ecstasy

while gliding through your gleaming hair that feels so soft.

 

You see? the scarab beetle, also a bright spark,

before departing for its clarity’s twin pair,

flicks its antennae: sense my nervous fingers arch,

 

antennae of my soul: it senses that its wing,

elated by the fragrant brilliance of your hair,

will raise it to the skies in one great upward swing.

 

Dutch translations of these sonnets have been made by Jan Kuijper OK in the booklet Bâtavisme nr. 14 (De Nederlandse Academie for 'Patafysica')

 

Thursday 4 April 2024

C.M. Bellman: 'Så lunka vi så småningom'

 


FREDMANS SÅNGER

N:o 21

 

Måltidssång


Så lunka vi så småningom

från Bacchi buller och tumult

när döden ropar: “Granne kom,

       ditt timglas är nu fullt.”

Du gubbe, fäll din krycka ner,

och du, du yngling, lyd min lag:

den skönsta nymf, som åt dig ler,

       inunder armen tag.

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Du, vid din remmare och press,

rödbrusig och med hatt på sned,

snart skrider fram din likprocess

       i några svarta led!

Och du, som pratar där så stort

med band och stjärnor på din rock,

re’n snickarn kistan färdig gjort

       och hyvlar på dess lock!

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Men du, som, med en trumpen min

bland riglar, galler, järn och lås,

dig vilar på ditt penningskrin

       inom ditt stängda bås.

Och du, som svartsjuk slår i kras

buteljer, speglar och pokal,

bjud nu godnatt, drick ur ditt glas

       och hälsa din rival;

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Och du som under titlars klang

din tiggarstav förgyllt vart år,

som knappast har, med all din rang,

       en skilling till din bår;

och du som ilsken, feg och lat,

fördömer vaggan som dig välvt

och ändå dagligt är plakat

       till glasets sista hälft;

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Du som vid Martis fältbasun

i blodig skjorta sträckt ditt steg,

och du som tumlar i paulun,

       i Chloris armar feg

och du som med din gyllne bok

vid templets genljud reser dig,

som rister huvud lärd och klok,

       och för mot avgrund krig;

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Men du som med en ärlig min

plär dina vänner häda jämt,

och dem förtalar vid ditt vin,

       och det liksom på skämt;

och du som ej försvarar dem,

fastän ur deras flaskor du

du väl kan slicka dina fem,

       vad svarar du väl nu?

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Men du som till din återfärd,

ifrån det du till bordet gick,

ej klingat för din raska värd,

       fastän han ropar: Drick,

driv sådan gäst från mat och vin,

kör honom med sitt anhang ut,

och sen med en ovänlig min,

       ryck remmarn ur hans trut.

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

Säg, är du nöjd, min granne, säg?

Så prisa värden nu till slut!

Om vi ha en och samma väg,

       så följoms åt… Drick ut!

Men först med vinet, rött och vitt,

för vår värdinna bugom oss,

och halkom sen i graven fritt

       vid aftonstjärnans bloss

Tycker du att graven är för djup,

nå, välan, så tag dig då en sup,

tag dig se’n dito en, dito två, dito tre,

       så dör du nöjdare!

 

 

FREDMAN’S SONGS

No. 21

 

Mealtime song

 

Then off we’ll lumber, every one,

leave Bacchus’ din and noisy shout,

when death calls to us: ‘Neighbour, come,

       your hour-glass has run out.’

You, old man, put your crutches down,

and you, sweet youth, my law obey:

the fairest nymph whose smile you own

       link arms with right away.

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

You at your dram and rummer glass,

with cheeks all flushed and hat awry,

ere long your hearse will slowly pass

       and swathed in black go by!

And you who big words ne’er did shun,

your coat by stars and orders hid,

the joiner’s got your coffin done,

is planing smooth its lid!

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

But you who sit lips tightly pressed,

whom bolts, bars, iron and locks protect,

arms folded on your money chest

       shut in and circumspect;

and you who, jealous, smash again

all bottles, goblets, mirrors too,

now say goodnight, your wine-glass drain

       your rival greet anew;

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

And you with titles’ fine array

who gild your beggar’s staff each year,

who though of rank can hardly pay

       the cost of your own bier;

and you who angry, idle, base

would curse your infancy’s own hearth,

will e’er display your drunken face

       down to the cup’s last half;

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

You who to war have strode ahead

in bloodstained shirt at bugle’s call;

and you who romp in curtained bed,

       in Cloris’ fair arms sprawl;

and you who with your golden book

at temple’s echo stand and pause,

who shake your head with learnèd look,

       and wage disastrous wars;

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

And you who with such honest eyes

your friends blaspheme with undue zest

and at your wine them stigmatise

       and do so as in jest;

and you who fail them to defend.

though never fail them to allow

to give you drinks you then up-end,

       what is your answer now?

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

But you who till your dying day,

your host’s glass have not thought to chink

since to his table you did stray,

       although he calls out: Drink!

Force such a guest from food and wine,

Away with him and all his mob,

and wrench then with a look malign

the wine glass from his gob.

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

Say, neighbour, say, are you content?

Then praise your host when he appears.

And should we both be homeward bent,

       let’s walk together: Cheers!

But first with wine, both red and white,

let’s bow deep to our hostess fair,

and slip into the grave aright

       in evening star’s bright flare.

Is the grave too deep, both fore and aft?

Time to take yourself another draught,

once with one you’ve begun, make it two, make it three,

       and die contentedly!

 

 

 

uttr. slicka sina fem ur någras flaskor: dricka o. njuta av det som några bjuder på, snylta på några i fråga om att dricka. BELLMAN (BellmS) 2: 50 (c. 17651791).

 

Monday 1 April 2024

A greeting from Hans Christian Andersen

 

IN DENMARK I WAS BORN

 

In Denmark I was born, my home’s no other,

here lie my roots, my world spreads out from here.

You Danish tongue, your voice is of a mother,

and you’re my heart so wonderfully near.

You bracing Danish strand,

where ancient barrows slumber

midst hops and apple orchards without number,

you are my love! – Denmark, my native land!

 

Where else does summer strew as rich a cover

of meadow-flowers, down to the open strand?

Where is the full moon over fields of clover 

as bright as in the beech’s native land?

You bracing Danish strand,

where Dannebrog flies surely, –

God’s gift to us, – God give us might and glory! –

You are my love! – Denmark, my native land!

 

You once held sway o’er all the Nordic region,

ruled over England, – now you are deemed weak,

though small, your songs and chisel-blows are legion

and still throughout the world are heard to speak.

You bracing Danish strand,

the plough unearths your gold horn,

God grant you future life, your past now full-born!

You are my love! – Denmark, my native land!

 

You land where I was born, my home – no other,

where my roots lie: my world spreads out from here.

Your language is the soft voice of a mother

that to my heart is music sweet and dear.

You bracing Danish strand,

where wild swans do their nesting,

you verdant isles, the home where my heart’s resting,

you are my love! – Denmark, my native land!