by Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Translation © by Peter Low

L'invitation au Voyage
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG GER ITA SPA
	Mon enfant, ma sœur,
	Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble ;
	-- Aimer à loisir,
	Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble !
	Les soleils mouillés
	De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
	Si mystérieux
	De tes traîtres yeux
Brillant à travers leurs larmes. 

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

	Des meubles luisants,
	Polis par les ans
Décoreraient notre chambre ;
	Les plus rares fleurs
	Mêlant leurs odeurs
Aux vagues senteurs de l'ambre,
	Les riches plafonds,
	Les miroirs profonds,
La splendeur orientale,
	Tout y parlerait
	À l'âme en secret
Sa douce langue natale.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

	Vois sur ces canaux 
	Dormir ces vaisseaux
Dont l'humeur est vagabonde ;
	C'est pour assouvir
	Ton moindre désir
Qu'ils viennent du bout du monde.
	-- Les soleils couchants
	Revêtent les champs,
Les canaux, la ville entière,
	D'hyacinthe et d'or ;
	-- Le monde s'endort
Dans une chaude lumière.

Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.

H. Duparc sets stanzas 1-2, 5-6
B. Godard sets stanzas 1-2, 5-6

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 1087-1088. Also confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 115-117. Punctuation and formatting follows 1855 edition.

First published in Revue des Deux Mondes, seconde série de la nouvelle période, tome dixième, 1855. Also appears in Les Fleurs du mal as number 49 in the 1857 edition and 53 or 54 in subsequent editions.

Note: The spelling "luisans" in the 1855 edition is changed to "luisants" in line 17.


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:

  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Aleksandr Tikhonovich Gretchaninov.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Vyzvání na cestu"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Marike Lindhout) , "De Uitnodiging voor de Reis", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Peter Low) , "Invitation to the voyage", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Cyril Meir Scott) , "Invitation to a Journey", appears in The Flowers of Evil, London, Elkin Mathews, first published 1909
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Nele Gramß) , "Einladung zur Reise", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Invito al viaggio", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , "La invitación al viaje", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Nicolas Gounin , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2019-08-15 17:07:55
Line count: 42
Word count: 169

Invitation to the voyage
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
My child, my sister1,
think of the sweetness
of going there to live together!
To love at leisure,
to love and to die
in a country that is the image of you!
The misty suns
of those changeable skies
have for me the same
mysterious charm
as your fickle eyes
shining through their tears.
  There, all is harmony and beauty,
  luxury, calm and delight.

Gleaming furniture
polished by age
would decorate our bedroom;
the rarest of flowers
would mingle their fragrance
with the vague scent of amber;
the rich ceilings,
the deep mirrors,
the splendor of the Orient -
everything there
would speak in secret
the soul's soft native tongue.
  There, all is harmony and beauty,
  luxury, calm and delight.

See how those ships,
nomads by nature,
are slumbering in the canals.
To gratify
your every desire
they have come from the ends of the earth.
The westering suns
clothe the fields,
the canals, and the town
with reddish-orange and gold.
The world falls asleep
bathed in warmth and light.
  There, all is harmony and beauty,
  luxury, calm and delight.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Translator's note: Despite the opening line, this poem is an amorous invitation addressed to a mistress (not literally a child or sister)

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (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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Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:20
Line count: 42
Word count: 180