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

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

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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"


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

Meditative calm
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
 Behave yourself, oh my Pain, and be more tranquil.
 You asked for Evening - it is falling, it is here.
 An atmosphere of darkness envelops the city
 bringing peace to some and worry to others.
 Now while the base multitude of mortals,
 whipped on by Pleasure, that merciless tormentor,
 goes off to reap remorse in servile entertainments,
 give me your hand, my Pain, come this way
 far from them. Look, the dead Years are leaning
 at the sky's balconies, in outmoded dresses;
 from the river's depths Regret is rising with a smile;
 the moribund Sun is falling asleep under an arch.
 And like a long shroud trailing in from the East,
 listen, my dear, listen to the gentle Night approaching.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2001 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 121