Tuesday, July 25, 2017

De vin, de poésie ou de vertu

Make Yourself Drunk
by Charles Baudelaire


You must always be drunk. That is it: it is the only point. In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time that breaks your shoulders and bends you to the earth, you must make yourself drunk without pause.

But of what? Of wine, of poetry, or of virtue, as you please. But make yourself drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the dreary solitude of your room, you awaken, drunkenness already lessened or lost, ask of the wind, of the wave, of the star, of the bird, of the clock, of all that flies, of all that groans, of all that rolls, of all that sings, of all that speaks, ask what the hour is, and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, will answer you: "It is the hour of getting drunk! In order not to be the martyred slaves of Time, make yourself drunk; make yourself drunk without cease! Of wine, of poetry, or of virtue, as you please."

A rough translation by myself. The original French, for those interested.

Enivrez-vous
by Charles Baudelaire


Il faut être toujours ivre. Tout est là: c'est l'unique question. Pour ne pas sentir l'horrible fardeau du Temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.

Mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise. Mais enivrez-vous.

Et si quelquefois, sur les marches d'un palais, sur l'herbe verte d'un fossé, dans la solitude morne de votre chambre, vous vous réveillez, l'ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue, demandez au vent, à la vague, à l'étoile, à l'oiseau, à l'horloge, à tout ce qui fuit, à tout ce qui gémit, à tout ce qui roule, à tout ce qui chante, à tout ce qui parle, demandez quelle heure il est et le vent, la vague, l'étoile, l'oiseau, l'horloge, vous répondront: "Il est l'heure de s'enivrer! Pour n'être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps, enivrez-vous; enivrez-vous sans cesse! De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise."

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