SOLEILS COUCHANTS SUNS THAT SET
Paul Verlaine trans. John R.G. Turner

Une aube affaiblie
Verse par les champs
La mélancolie
Des soleils couchants.
La mélancolie
Berce de doux chants
Mon coeur qui s’oublie
Aux soleils couchants.
Et d’étranges rêves,
Comme des soleils
Couchants sur les grèves,
Fantômes vermeils,
Défilent sans trêves,
Défilent, pareils
A des grands soleils
Couchants sur les grèves.

A spreading black dawn:
A vast silhouette
Encumbers the lawn
Toward the sunset.
In slumbers the dawn
Consoles my regret
By overtones drawn
From where the sun set.
By nightmares and more
Unceasingly run
Repeats of a sun
That sinks to the shore.
Come one after one
Red phantoms galore,
Red shapes of a sun
That sank to the shore.

This translation was one of a group that was awarded the John Dryden Prize for Literary Translation in 2009.

Trans. copyright © John R.G. Turner 2009


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