LA LÉGENDE DE L'ABSINTHE THE LEGEND OF ABSINTHE
Anon. 19c.? trans. Peter H.Cole
Apollon qui pleurait le trépas d'Hyacinthe,
Ne voulait pas céder la victoire à la mort.
II fallait que son âme, adepte de l'essor,
Trouvât pour la beauté une alchimie plus sainte.
Donc de sa main celeste il épuise, il éreinte.
Les dons les plus subtils de la divine Flore.
Leurs corps brisés souspirant une exhalaison d'or
Dont il nous recueillait la goutte de - l'Absinthe!
Aux cavernes blotties, aux palis petillants,
Par un, par deux, buvez ce breuvage d'aimant!
Car c'est un sortilège, un propos de dictame:
Ce vin d'opale pâle avortit la misère,
Ouvre de la beaute l'intime sanctuaire -
Ensorcelle mon coeur, extasie mon âme.
Apollo wept to see fair Hyacinthus die;
willed not that Death should claim the final victory,
And so, for Beauty's sake, to find an Alchemy
Sublime, his soaring soul at need must swiftly fly.
With touch divine, his skills he worked 'til all were spent -
Most subtle gifts divinest Chloris might bestow,
Their broken forms expired the rarest breath - and Lo!
Were gathered for our savour sacred herbs - Absinthe!
Alone or gathered, take this loving cup of spice,
in humble grot or pleasure-dome with caves of ice -
A sorcery of senses; spell of swift control:
Before this opalescent spirit, heartache flees -
Unfolding Beauty, intimate of all hearts' ease,
Bewitches first my heart, and then inflames my soul.

Notes:
Line 6 - Chloris, not Flora, seems most appropriate when
dealing with an otherwise entirely Greek pantheon.
Line 10 - if you're going to plagiarise, plagiarise from the best!

Trans. Copyright © Peter H.Cole 2005


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