UNE VENGEANCE A VENGEANCE
Iwan Gilkin trans. James Kirkup
Femme au coeur poignardé d'une secrète offense,
Tes fiers et frêles doigts orgueilleux de vengeance
Ont, pendant son sommeil, lié ton amant nu
Aux colonnes d'argent de son lit méconnu,
Et sous ses yeux brûlés du vitriol des larmes,
Qui fixaient, noirs d'horreur, un pêle-mêle d'armes,
De linges et de fleurs sur les meubles brisés,
En ces draps, chauds encore de ses derniers baisers,
Tu t'es prostituée à des soldats; mais, soûle
Des hoquets orageux qui, soulevant la houle
De tes flancs sous leurs flancs jeunes et souverains,
Près de ses reins jaloux tordaient, pâmaient vos reins,
Quelle pensée a, comme un hideux diadème
D'épines, déchiré ton front, quand le troisième,
Sa blonde chair à peine assouvie, abreuvé
De ta cruauté jusqu'à la lie, a levé
Vers ton martyr ses doux yeux de chienne battue,
Plaintif, et murmurant: "Veux tu que je la tue?"
Woman whose heart was stabbed by some secret offence -
With proud, frail fingers intent upon your revenge,
During his slumbers had tied your naked lover
To the silver-plated columns of his vile bed;
Before his eyes seared with the vitriol of tears,
Staring, transfixed with horror, at piled-up arms,
Dirty linen, flowers on smashed furniture,
While in his sheets, warm still from last wild kisses,
You prostitute yourself to rough troops: but crazed
With tempestuous groans swelling the storms
Of your flanks under their brash, labouring loins,
Beside his jealous crotch twisted and heaved your hips -
What thoughts, like some hideous diadem of thorns,
Had ransacked your distracted mind, as one attacker,
His blond flesh still unsatiated, but still
Drunk with her cruelties, took pity on
Your sufferings, and gazed upon you with eyes
Gentle as a beaten dog's, to whisper to you,
Pleadingly: "Shall I murder her for you now?"

Trans. copyright © James Kirkup 2006


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