IL AVAIT ... WHAT HE HAD
Maurice Carême trans. Christopher Pilling

à Robert Merget

Il avait sur les bras des grives,
....Beaucoup de grives.
Il avait beau lever les bras,
Les grives ne s'envolaient pas.

Il avait dans le coeur des faons,
....Beaucoup de faons.
Et, bien que son coeur fût étroit
Les faons non plus ne fuyaient pas.

Il avait dans l'âme du ciel,
....Beaucoup de ciel.
Et pourtant la mort était là
Qui l'attendait au coin du bois.
for Robert Merget

On his arms he had song thrushes,
....A lot of thrushes,
He raised his arms in vain,
The thrushes did not fly away.

In his heart he had young deer,
....A lot of fallow deer.
And, though his heart and mind were narrow,
They stayed, did the fallow.

In his soul he had the heavens,
....A lot of heaven.
Yet death was there as well
Waiting to meet him on the fell.

Copyright © Estate of Maurice Carême, 2009; Trans. Copyright © Christopher Pilling 2009 - publ. Arc Publications


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