by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Ferdinando Albeggiani

J'ai long‑temps habité sous de vastes...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG ENG FIN GER ITA SPA
J'ai long-temps habité sous de vastes portiques
Que les soleils marins teignaient de mille feux,
Et que leurs grands piliers, droits et majestueux,
Rendaient pareils, le soir, aux grottes basaltiques.

Les houles, en roulant les images des cieux,
Mêlaient d'une façon solennelle et mystique
Les tout puissants accords de leur riche musique
Aux couleurs du couchant reflété par mes yeux.

C'est là que j'ai vécu dans les voluptés calmes,
Au milieu de l'azur, [des flots et des]1 splendeurs,
Et des esclaves nus, tout imprégnés d'odeurs,

Qui me rafraîchissaient le front avec des palmes,
Et dont l'unique soin était d'approfondir
Le secret douloureux qui me faisait languir.

About the headline (FAQ)

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Confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 36-37. This poem was first published in 1855 as part of Revue des Deux Mondes; its first publication as part of Les Fleurs du mal was in 1857.

1 H. Duparc: "des vagues, des"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Marike Lindhout) , "Het vroegere leven", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Dann Mitton) , no title, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , "In a former life", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Edellinen elämä", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , "Das frühere Leben", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "La vita anteriore", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POR Portuguese (Português) (Delfim Guimarães) , "A Vida Anterior"
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "La vida anterior", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]
La vita anteriore
Language: Italian (Italiano)  after the French (Français) 
Sotto portici immensi a lungo ho dimorato,
dai meriggi marini dipinti con mille fuochi,
e i cui alti pilastri, dritti e maestosi,
trasformava, la sera, in grotte di basalto.

I marosi, immagini mutevoli del cielo,
mischiavano nei modi consueti, mistici e solenni,
la loro ricca musica in accordi possenti
al colore del tramonto, nel mio occhio riflesso...

E' là, è là che in calma voluttà ho vissuto
circondato d'azzurro, dalle onde, da splendori,
in mezzo a nudi schiavi tutti impregnati da odori

che con foglie di palma mi rinfrescavano il volto
e la cui unica cura era cercare di capire
il segreto dolore che mi faceva languire.

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to Italian (Italiano) copyright © 2010 by Ferdinando Albeggiani, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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