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

Que diras‑tu ce soir, pauvre âme...
Language: French (Français) 
Que diras-tu ce soir, pauvre âme solitaire,
Que diras-tu, mon cœur, cœur autrefois flétri,
A la très-belle, à la très-bonne, à la très-chère,
Dont le regard divin t'a soudain refleuri ?

- Nous mettrons notre orgueil à chanter ses louanges :
Rien ne vaut la douceur de son autorité ;
Sa chair spirituelle a le parfum des Anges,
Et son œil nous revêt d'un habit de clarté.

Que ce soit dans la nuit et dans la solitude,
Que ce soit dans la rue et dans la multitude,
Son fantôme dans l'air danse comme un flambeau.

Parfois il parle et dit : " Je suis belle, et j'ordonne
Que pour l'amour de moi vous n'aimiez que le Beau.
Je suis l'Ange gardien, la Muse et la Madone. "

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Les Fleurs du mal, Spleen et Idéal, Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857, pages 87-88. Note: this was number 37 in the first edition of Les Fleurs du mal but number 42 or 43 in subsequent editions.

First published in La Revue de Paris, January 15, 1855.


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

This text was added to the website: 2017-05-04
Line count: 14
Word count: 127

Sonnet XLIII
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
What sayest thou, to-night, poor soul so drear,
What sayest—heart erewhile engulfed in gloom,
To the very lovely, very chaste, and very dear,
Whose god-like look hath made thee to re-bloom?

To her, with pride we chant an echoing Hymn,
For nought can touch the sweetness of her sway;
Her flesh ethereal as the seraphim,
Her eyes with robe of light our souls array.

And be it in the night, or solitude,
Among the streets or 'mid the multitude,
Her shadow, torch-like, dances in the air,

And murmurs, "I, the Beautiful proclaim—
That for my sake, alone ye love the Fair;
I am the Guardian Angel, Muse and Dame!"

Confirmed with The Flowers of Evil [by Charles Baudelaire; translated into English verse by Cyril Scott], London: Elkin Mathews, 1909, page 30.


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: 109