UNE ALLÉE DU LUXEMBOURG THE LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
Gérard de Nerval trans. James Kirkup (haiku)
Elle a passé, la jeune fille
Vive et preste comme un oiseau:
A la main une fleur qui brille,
A la bouche un refrain nouveau.


C'est peut-être la seule au monde
Dont le coeur au mien répondrait,
Qui venant dans ma nuit profonde
D'un seul regard l'éclaircirait!


Mais non, ma jeunesse est finie...
Adieu, doux rayon qui m'as lui,
Parfum, jeune fille, harmonie...
Le bonheur passait, il a fui!
She passed by - young girl
lively and light as a bird,
holding in her hand

a brilliant flower
and on her lips a new song.
Perhaps she's the one

person in the world
whose heart would respond to mine -
who in my deep night

with a single glance
might be able to lighten
my darkness! ... But no ...

my youth is finished...
Farewell, gentle light, that cast
its glow upon me -

sweet fragrance - young girl,
harmony - and happiness
passed by - it has fled!

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. copyright © James Kirkup 2001



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