SOUVENIR SOUVENIR
Marceline Desbordes-Valmore trans. Katherine Devlin


Quand il pâlit un soir, et que sa voix tremblante
S'éteignit tout à coup dans un mot commencé
Quand ses yeux, soulevant leur paupière brulante,
Me blessèrent d'un mal dont je le crus blessé
Quand ses traits plus touchants, éclairés d'une flamme
.....Qui ne s'éteint jamais,
S'imprimèrent vivants dans le fond de mon âme;
.....Il n'aimait pas, j'aimais!


He went pale one evening, and his voice was trembling
As he tried to explain it again;
His eyes were burning as though he were suffering,
Yet they inflicted on me such a pain;
At his most tender, afire with a flame
.....Which was never, ever to die,
The truth struck my soul and I drowned in the shame;
.....He wasn't in love, it was I!

Trans. Copyright © Katherine Devlin 2008


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