30 July 2016

Translation: Victor Hugo's Yes, I am a dreamer …


Yes, I am a dreamer; I am the friend
of little golden flowers on a crumbling wall,
and the interlocutor of trees and the wind.
You see, all of them know me. I often have
conversations with the gillyflowers,
in May, when the branches are full with perfumes;
I receive advice from the ivy and the cornflower.
The mysterious being that you think is mute,
leans over me and comes to write with my quill. 
I hear what Rabelais heard; I see laughter
and crying; and I hear what Orpheus heard.
Do not be surprised at all about what nature
says to me in ineffable sighs. I chat 
with all the voices of the metempsychosis. 
Before beginning the sacred great concert,
the swallow, the bush, the white water in the meadow,
the forest, enormous bass, and the wing and the corolla, 
all of these soft instruments, talk to me; 
I am the regular of the divine orchestra;
If I were not a dreamer, I would have been a sylvan.
Thanks to the calm in which I reflect,
by speaking softly to the leaf, 
to the raindrop, to the striped feather, I ended up  
descending to such point in creation,
this abyss where a shy trembling quivers, 
that I do not even chase away a fly!
The blade of grass, vibrating with an eternal excitement,
becomes tame and familiar with me,
and without noticing that I am there, the roses
do all kinds of things with the bumblebees;
Sometimes, through the soft blessed branches,
I fully place my face over the nests,
and the little bird, worried and saintly mother,
is no more afraid of me than we are of fear,
us, if the eye of the good Lord looked into our niches; 
The prude lily watches me approach without fury,
when she opens at sunset; the violet, 
the most modest, bathes herself in front of me; 
For these beauties I am the discreet and sure friend
and the fresh butterfly, libertine of the sky,
who cheerfully rumples a half-naked flower,
continues, if I come and pass in the shadows, 
and, if the flower wants to hide in the lawn, 
she tells her: “You are silly! He is one of us.”

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