by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Richard Howard (b. 1929)

Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens‑toi...
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG SPA
Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille.
Tu réclamais le Soir ; il descend ; le voici :
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,
Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

[Pendant]1 que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma Douleur, donne-moi la main ; viens par ici,

Loin d'eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées ;
[Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret souriant]2 ;

Le Soleil moribond s'endormir sous une arche,
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l'Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche.

A. Mellnäs sets stanza 4

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Le Parnasse contemporain : receuil de vers nouveaux, premier receuil, [Paris?]: Alphonse Lemerre, 1866, page 79. Also confirmed with Œuvres complètes de Charles Baudelaire, vol. I : Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Michel Lévy frères, 1868, page 237.

First published by Alphonse Lemerre in Le Parnasse contemporain : receuil de vers nouveaux, premier receuil, 1866; also appears under Spleen et Idéal as number 102 in the 1868 edition of Les Fleurs du mal.

1 Vierne: "Tandis"
2 Vierne: "Surgir des fonds de l'eau le Regret souriant"

Authorship

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Duma"
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "Meditative calm", copyright © 2001, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Cyril Meir Scott) , "Meditation", appears in The Flowers of Evil, London, Elkin Mathews, first published 1909
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Victor Torres) , "Recogimiento", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 118

Meditation
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Behave, my Sorrow! let's have no more scenes
 [ ... ]

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

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)

This text was added to the website: 2003-12-07
Line count: 14
Word count: 103