LE PONT MIRABEAU MIRABEAU BRIDGE
Guillaume Apollinaire trans. James Kirkup


Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
............Et nos amours
.....Faut-il quíil míen souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

............Vienne la nuit sonne líheure
............Les jours síen vont je demeure


Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
............Tandis que sous
.....Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards líonde si lasse

............Vienne la nuit sonne líheure
............Les jours síen vont je demeure


Líamour síen va comme cette eau courante
............Líamour síen va
.....Comme la vie est lente
Et comme líEspérance est violente

............Vienne la nuit sonne líheure
............Les jours síen vont je demeure


Passent les jours et passent les semaines
............Ni temps passé
.....Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

............Vienne la nuit sonne líheure
............Les jours síen vont je demeure
(tanka sequence with haiku refrain)

The Seine keeps flowing
under the Mirabeau Bridge -
and our loves also -
I need to remember that
joy always follows sorrow.

And when night's bell tolls
the days take their departure -
I alone remain

Holding hand in hand,
let us sit face to face while
underneath the bridge
of our arms pass eternal
gazings on such weary waves.

And when nights bell tolls
the days take their departuure -
I alone remain

Love is flowing fast
away, just as these flowing
waters flow away
slow as life itself flows by -
how violent Hope becomes.

And when the night's bell tolls
the days take their departure -
I alone remain

The days passing by,
the weeks passing by - and yet
neither our past time
nor our loves return - under
Mirabeau Bridee flows the Seine -

And when night s bell tolls
the days take their departure -
I alone remain

Click here 4 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. copyright © James Kirkup 2004



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