PREMIÈRE SOIRÉEFIRST EVENING
Arthur Rimbaudtrans. Peter Dale
Elle était fort déshabilléeUndressed she was, or just as good,
Et de grands arbres indiscretsAnd great trees indiscreetly threw
Aux vitres jetaient leur feuilléeTheir leaves against the window, stood
Malinement, tout près, tout près.Leering too near, too near, they drew.
Assise sur ma grande chaise,And she sat in my big chair's seat
Mi-nue, elle joignait les mains.Half bare and clasped her hands together.
Sur le plancher frissonaient d'aiseUpon the floor her fine, fine feet
Ses petits pieds, si fins, si fins.Were quivering in easy pleasure.
- Je regardai, couleur de cire, I watched the dapple's tiny ray
Un petit rayon buissonnier The shade of wax flutter and pose
Papillonner dans son sourire Upon her smile, on her breast play
Et sur son sein, mouche au rosier.As would an insect on a rose.
- Je baisai ses fines chevilles. I gave her dainty ankles a kiss.
Elle eut un doux rire brutal A soft and sudden laugh she gave,
Qui s'égrenait en claires trilles, A lovely crystal laugh was this,
Un joli rire de cristal.Clear trills that sprinkled from the stave:
Les petits pieds sous la chemise Her tiny feet scurried away
Se sauvèrent: 'Veux-tu finir!' Beneath her slip. 'Ah, that will do!'
- La première audace permise, Initial licence given play,
Le rire feignait de punir!Her laughter feigned to punish you!
- Pauvrets palpitants sous ma lèvre, Beneath my lips, poor little scraps
Je baisai doucement ses yeux: Her eyes I gently gave a kiss.
- Elle jeta sa tête mièvreShe turned her frail head at this lapse
En arrière: 'Oh! c'est encor mieux!'And gave a 'Call this better, this!'
'Monsieur, j'ai deux mots à te dire ...''Now, sir, I've two words I ought...'
- Je lui jetai le reste au seinSo all the rest of it I threw
Dans un baiser, qui la fit rireIn one kiss on her breast and caught
D'un bon rire qui voulait bien ...A wholesome laugh and willing, too.
- Elle était fort déshabilléeUndressed she was, or just as good,
Et de grands arbres indiscretsAnd great trees indiscreetly threw
Aux vitres jetaient leur feuilléeTheir leaves against the window, stood
Malinement, tout près, tout près.Leering too near, too near, they drew.

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Trans. Copyright © Peter Dale 1985 - publ. Hippopotamus Press


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