Wednesday, 24 January 2018

I would like to take a walk in the wood - Marie Nervat

I would like to take a walk in the wood;
I would have a big hat and a flowing robe.
I would be carried away on the breeze and the light,
And you would take me again on your arm.

I would like to enter a big wood, an old wood,
Where we are told of fairies abroad;
Perhaps, should we wait from evening 'til dawn,
One may grant us the chance of hearing her voice.

I have not seen the trees for such a long time,
Nor the flowers in the garden! Those that you bring,
And place on my bed are already half dead
And, then, they expire, here, in the house.

They are not truly free like those under the sky;
Their pleated red robes are leaking so much
That they appear as deep stains on the sheets,
Bloodstains that make these frail hands appear paler.

I like my hands at present; they are so white!
I see the little, blue veins beneath the skin.
On my left hand, I have kept only the ring;
The golden ring that you gave to me with your soul.

My poor hands look so weary, here, on the sheets.
How I would like to go out for a walk! I feel myself strong.
I would like to fly far away and close the door
Upon this dreary, invalid's room.

Marie Nervat (1875- 1909) France
Translated by David Paley
Source: Poems without frontiers

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