(In this translation of Paul Verlaine’s « Nevermore », I must say I felt inveigled into adhering to the fixed form by making some unnecessary allowances just in order to respect the rime scheme. It would have been better if I had abandoned the effort at laboriously keeping to the original’s end-rimes. T. Wignesan)
Souvenirs, souvenirs, what do you want of me? Autumn
Invites the thrush to fly through the air lifeless sans tone,
And the sun beats its rays down: relentless monotone
Over the yellowing wood where claps the North wind’s thunder tone.
We were walking all by ourselves as if in a dream,
She and I, haïr and thoughts buffeted by the wind’s non-esteem.
All of a sudden, she turned towards me her looks agleam
« Which was your most beautiful day? » did her lively golden voice beam.
Her voice soft and sonorous, a fresh timbre angelic.
A discreet smile she did redeem as a reaction cyclic,
And her blanched hand I kissed with devoutness.
Oh! the first flowers, how their scent liberates perfumes!
And the first sounds they emit akin to charming murmur
The first « yes » that escapes the lips of virgin dames consumes!