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Albert Samain Albert Samain




Translated by Kevin Germain Kevin Germain


Music on the Water

Oh! Listen to the symphony;
No softness like anguish
In the unlimitable euphony
Breathing in the vaporous distance;

The night, a langour intoxicates,
And delivers our heart
From the monotonous labor of living,
One dies a langourous demise.

Let us slip between sky and wave,
Let's slip beneath the deepening moon;
All my heart, from the world away,
Takes refuge in thy eyes.

And I gaze at thy pupils
That swoon beneath mushrooms,
Like two ghostly flowers
Under melodious rays.

Oh! Listen to the symphony;
No softness like anguish
Of the lips on lips, kiss
In the unlimitable euphony. . .


Incantation

O night enchantress, O softness, O solitude,
The landscape with its reedy flutes
Welcomes thee. . .thee and thy naked flesh,
Flesh which thrills the tired spirit of the earth.
The eve of dreams lets slip from its fingers
Garlands of flowers, so it may sleep in thy arms, so fresh.
The heart shudders, so weak in the sun, heaving
And twisting its hair in a fountain of tears.
The peasants returning to these fields of silence
Take in the twilight's eternal bright tinge;
A passing of sadness from a breath of sky
Vaguely illuminates this mysterious pool.
Last sounds in the path fill with shade. Day's end. . .
O night, heart of nuptial flowers, thou spy;
The soils become sleepy and cattle lie,
The maidservant closes a gate at path's end.
A magnetic moon glows on thy breast,
An alluring nymph sways in the rushes;
And all that we dream in our sobbing hearts
Ascends like the sea, towards thy mystical face.
The dead weight of the harmonious hour under the skies,
In the distant extending shade, sanctifies the lines;
And the man, awake to the mysterious signs,
Seems slowly to assemble a prayer in his eyes. . .
There in the distance, the village presses unending rooftops
And only nameless multitudes emerge,
The monuments, alive as well as the shepherds,
Take care to testify their hearts in the darkness.
The spangled abyss opens with pensive ardency,
And the spirit, visited by unknown rumors,
Is astonished, quivering... listening, like large black rivers
To the fullness of clouds, passing eternity.
Intoxication! Arms reach out to the sky! Bewildered flights. . .
A kiss to infinity which makes the moment die. . .
And behind our faces - this struggling desire,
Always, forever Icarus's thread of hereditary pride.
A sacred breeze blows from deep space,
Unfastens a fruit that hangs from a women's thigh,
While with its approach in the distance, great hearts
Burn aflame, like bonfires on distant peaks.
I greet thee, O night of shepherds and prophets,
Mother of infants with long black veils,
Fertilize those twins of torment by which
The works of man and women are made.
Proud night! August sanctuary of the secrets,
O night sister of death impenetrable,
Night of Orpheus and Isis, O goddess, venerable,
Primordial grandmother of seas and forests!
Divine night, virgin, pure and merciful,
Who revives the love in thy obscure smile.
Thee, who lay on the heart thy long hands of azure,
Portle of the innocent who sleep below thy mantle,
Only thee can calm the unknown torments
Of those lying in daily tortures.
Their faces burn, and see here thy somber hair;
Their hearts, alone, and see here thy naked arms.
Each one untying its shackles from an infamous mask.
In thy forests, under the watchful gold eyes of an owl,
Who, with all its heart, surveys an insane bow,
Goes splendid and free into its soul.
In the bushes, however, shades create
A sentimental bird, a sad, divine bird
In deserted gardens where leaves palpitate,
And make weep its heart in crystal sobs.
Midnight...The vault is like a delicate church.
The book of gold and iron is fully resplendent,
And sublime flesh vibrates in ether!
O vague silence transversing the void. . .
Flowers, already breathing strange, bizarre evenings;
The dream ventures... entwined by Helen,
Across these far seas of human thought
Led by its chariot with large black swans.
O night, thy flesh divine, makes the earth leap,
Thy cup of black silver, filled with deep space,
Pours upon us thy most sacred of splendors,
And I will adore thee for this, this mystery in triplicate,
O night enchantress, O softness, O solitude.