by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation by Cyril Meir Scott (1879 - 1970)

L'ennemi
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG HUN
Ma jeunesse ne fut qu'un ténébreux orage,
Traversé çà et là par de [brillants]1 soleils ;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu'il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils.

Voilà que j'ai touché l'automne des idées,
Et qu'il faut employer la pelle et les râteaux
Pour rassembler à neuf les terres inondées,
Où l'eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux.

Et qui sait si les fleurs nouvelles que je rêve
Trouveront dans ce sol lavé comme une grève
Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur ?

Ô douleur! ô douleur! le Temps mange la vie,
Et l'obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le cœur
Du sang que nous perdons croît et se fortifie !

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Revue des Deux Mondes, seconde série de la nouvelle période, tome dixième, Les Fleurs du mal, Paris: Bureau de la Revue des Deux Mondes, 1855, pages 1089-1090. Also confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 32-33. Also confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1861, pages 28-29. Punctuation and capitalization follows 1855 edition.

1 misspelled in 1855 edition as "brillans"

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):

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Haasz) , "Nepřítel"
  • ENG English (Emily Wyatt) , "The enemy", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Cyril Meir Scott) , "The Enemy", appears in The Flowers of Evil, London, Elkin Mathews, first published 1909
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , "Lenne más!", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2011-03-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-08-04 09:02:30
Line count: 14
Word count: 121

The Enemy
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
My childhood was nought but a ravaging storm,
Enlivened at times by a brilliant sun;
The rain and the winds wrought such havoc and harm
That of buds on my plot there remains hardly one.

Behold now the Fall of ideas I have reached,
And the shovel and rake one must therefore resume,
In collecting the turf, inundated and breached,
Where the waters dug trenches as deep as a tomb.

And yet these new blossoms, for which I craved,
Will they find in this earth — like a shore that is laved—
The mystical fuel which vigour imparts?

Oh misery! — Time devours our lives,
And the enemy black, which consumeth our hearts
On the blood of our bodies, increases and thrives!

Confirmed with The Flowers of Evil [by Charles Baudelaire; translated into English verse by Cyril Scott], London: Elkin Mathews, 1909, page 14.


Authorship

Based on

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

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2019-08-20 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-08-21 22:00:12
Line count: 14
Word count: 122