Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Clara d'Ellébeuse - Francis Jammes

Down the years it’s Clara d’Ellébeuse
I love, who went to old-time boarding schools
and came, warm evenings, under linden trees
to read her magazines of other days.
It's her alone I love and on my heart
I feel the blue light of her throat in flame.
Where is she? Or happiness’s part
when into her bright room the branches came?
Perhaps it may be that she is not dead
— or else the both of us have long been so.
The cold wind’s leaves across the yard have spread,
brought in by summers’ endings years ago.
Do you remember those great peacock feathers
and that tall vase, with seashells heaped around?
How once we learned of shipwrecks and of weathers
on Newfoundland's Great Bank, its fishing ground?
Come, my precious Clara d’Ellébeuse,
together let us love if you exist.
Old gardens have old tulips in their midst.
O come quite naked, Clara d’Ellébeuse.

Francis Jammes (1868 - 1938) France
Translated by John Holcombe
Visit his website here

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