2.32 Les faux beaux jours (The false fine days)

Les faux beaux jours ont lui tout le jour, ma pauvre âme,
Et les voici vibrer au cuivre du couchant.
Ferme les yeux, pauvre âme, et rentre sur le champ.
Une tentation des pires, fuis l’infâme!

Ils ont lui tout le jour en longs grêlons de flammes
Battant toute vendange aux collines, couchant
Toute moisson de la vallée, et ravageant
Le ciel tout bleu, le ciel chanteur qui réclame.

Ô pâlis et va-t’en, lente et joignant les mains.
Si ces hivers allaient manger nos beaux demains?
Si la vieille folie était encore en route?

Ces souvenirs va-t’il falloir les retuer?
Un assaut furieux, le suprême sans doute!
Ô va prier contre l’orage, va prier.

Paul Verlaine

The false fine days have shone all day, my poor soul,
And here they are, vibrant in the copper glow of sunset.
Close your eyes, poor soul, and go home quickly.
[It’s] the worst of temptations; flee the unspeakable.

They shone all day in long hailstones of flame,
Beating down the vines on the hills, flattening
The harvest of the valley, and ravaging
The blue sky, the sky which sings and calls for you.

Oh, fade now and leave, slowly and with joined hands.
What if those winters were to consume our lovely tomorrows?
What if the old madness were still on its way?

Those memories, shall we have to kill them again?
A furious assault, the final one no doubt!
Oh, go and pray against the storm, go and pray.

Recorded 19 June 2008