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

C'est la Mort qui console et la Mort qui...
Language: French (Français) 
C'est la Mort qui [console et la Mort]1 qui fait vivre ;
C'est le but de la vie, et c'est le seul espoir
Qui, [divin]2 élixir, nous monte et nous enivre,
Et nous donne le cœur de marcher jusqu'au soir ;

À travers la tempête, et la neige et le givre,
C'est la clarté vibrante à notre horizon noir ;
C'est l'auberge fameuse inscrite sur le livre,
Où l'on pourra manger, et dormir, et s'asseoir 

C'est un Ange qui tient dans ses doigts magnétiques
Le sommeil et le don des rêves extatiques,
Et qui refait le lit des gens pauvres et nus ;

C'est la gloire des Dieux, c'est le grenier mystique,
C'est la bourse du pauvre et sa patrie antique,
C'est le portique ouvert sur les Cieux inconnus !

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Confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, La Mort, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 245-246. Also confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, La Mort, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1861, pages 297-298. Also confirmed with Œuvres complètes de Charles Baudelaire, vol. I : Les Fleurs du mal, La Mort, Paris: Michel Lévy frères, 1868, page 340. Punctuation follows 1857 edition. Note: this was number 99 in 1857 edition of Les Fleurs du mal but number 122 or 147 in subsequent editions.

1 1861 edition, 1868 edition, G. Bachlund, A. Caplet, and E. Rautavaara: "console, hélas ! et"
2 1861 edition, 1868 edition, G. Bachlund, A. Caplet, and E. Rautavaara: "comme un"

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

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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: 130

The Death of the Poor
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
It is Death that consoles -- yea, and causes our lives;
'Tis the goal of this Life -- and of Hope the sole ray,
Which like a strong potion enlivens and gives
Us the strength to plod on to the end of the day.

And all through the tempest, the frost and the snows,
'Tis the shimmering light on our black sky-line;
'Tis the famous inn which the guide-book shows,
Whereat one can eat, and sleep, and recline;

'Tis an angel that holds in his magic hands
The sleep, which ecstatic dream commands,
Who remakes up the beds of the naked and poor ;

'Tis the fame of the gods, 'tis the granary blest,
'Tis the purse of the poor, and his birth-place of rest,
To the unknown Heavens, 'tis the wide-open door.

Confirmed with The Flowers of Evil [by Charles Baudelaire; translated into English verse by Cyril Scott], London: Elkin Mathews, 1909, page 64.


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]

This text was added to the website: 2019-08-20
Line count: 14
Word count: 131