Friday, June 21, 2013


A Poem by Auguste Angellier

Dear Mike,

Your latest reminds me of an echo by Auguste Angellier (circa 1900). I'll add my rough translation though I'm not altogether pleased with it. I'm sure you can do better!


Avoir été très douce, et très simple et très bonne,
Avoir mis le bonheur au foyer nuptial,
Avoir donné sans bruit, en oubliant qu’on donne,
Avoir en soi porté l’ignorance du mal
Qui garde jusqu’au bout sa jeunesse au sourire,
Avoir tranquillement soulagé la douleur,
Avoir su l’accepter sans jamais la maudire,
Et dans un coeur paré de délicat bonheur
N’avoir jamais reçu la haine ni l’envie,
C’est avoir fait son oeuvre et parfumé la vie.

To have been very gentle, and very simple and very good,
To have brought happiness to married life,
To have quietly given, forgetting the gift,
To have allowed evil no place in oneself,
Ensuring a smile of eternal youth,
To have calmly comforted suffering,
To have been able to endure it without complaint,
And in a heart wreathed in delicate joys
To have inspired not once either hatred or envy,
Such is to have fulfilled one’s promise and imparted to life its perfume.

As ever,

Ian [Jackson]

I can't do any better.

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