Sunday, 24 February 2019

Consolation - Alphonse Lamartine

Drop, lone and silent tears,
On pitiless earth to rest!
Not now on piety's meek hand,
Or friendship's gentle breast!

Fall like the cheerless rain
That smites the rock's chill brow;
On which no sunny ray shall smile,
Nor genial zephyr blow.

What cares my brother man
For this crush'd heart forlorn?
High rais'd o'er dark adversities,
For mine he cannot mourn.

O ne'er will tears for him
Becloud life's brilliant star:
His future no forebodings dim,
No cup of woe shall mar.

Ne'er will that frivolous crowd,
Who pass in laughing glee,
Need the fond solace of a heart
Which says — I weep with thee!

 Ah, well — I cease to seek
Vain pity from mankind.
I nourish grief in loneliness,
Forsaken yet resign'd.

Yes, when the soul bereav'd
Her gloomiest veil puts on,
Expecting nought from earth again,
Her latest hope foregone;

When friendship shuns our path
In the stern hour of need,
And the last staff on which we leant
Wounds like a broken reed;

Then, then thy whisper lulls
This aching silent heart;
Thy hand, my God, draws gently forth
E'en poignant sorrow's dart.

Thy tender word alone
Can woe's dark waves control.
Its sweetest solace is for those
Whom nought else may console.

Thine everlasting arms
Enfold the heart oppress'd,
Till the world marks our patient smile,
And marvels — whence so bless'd?

The spirit now to Heaven
Aspires in fervid prayer,
And bitter tears no more can flow
From eyes uplifted there.

As if on branch or rock
One ardent sunbeam fell,
And the last chilly rain-drop chas'd,
Which shade could ne'er dispel.

Alphonse Lamartine (Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine) (1790 - 1869) France
Translated by John Sheppard
Source: The Foreign Sacred Lyre: Metrical Versions of Religious Poetry from the German, French, and Italian, by John Sheppard, Jackson & Walford, 1857

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant and free from abusive language. Thank you. Note that comments are moderated so it may be a day or two before your comment is posted - irrelevant or abusive comments will not be published.