Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Litany to Satan

Baudelaire by David X


Les Litanies de Satan


Ô toi, le plus savant et le plus beau des Anges,
Dieu trahi par le sort et privé de louanges,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Ô Prince de l'exil, à qui l'on a fait tort
Et qui, vaincu, toujours te redresses plus fort,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui sais tout, grand roi des choses souterraines,
Guérisseur familier des angoisses humaines,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui, même aux lépreux, aux parias maudits,
Enseignes par l'amour le goût du Paradis,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Ô toi qui de la Mort, ta vieille et forte amante,
Engendras l'Espérance, — une folle charmante!
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui fais au proscrit ce regard calme et haut
Qui damne tout un peuple autour d'un échafaud.
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui sais en quels coins des terres envieuses
Le Dieu jaloux cacha les pierres précieuses,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi dont l'oeil clair connaît les profonds arsenaux
Où dort enseveli le peuple des métaux,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi dont la large main cache les précipices
Au somnambule errant au bord des édifices,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui, magiquement, assouplis les vieux os
De l'ivrogne attardé foulé par les chevaux,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui, pour consoler l'homme frêle qui souffre,
Nous appris à mêler le salpêtre et le soufre,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui poses ta marque, ô complice subtil,
Sur le front du Crésus impitoyable et vil,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Toi qui mets dans les yeux et dans le coeur des filles
Le culte de la plaie et l'amour des guenilles,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Bâton des exilés, lampe des inventeurs,
Confesseur des pendus et des conspirateurs,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Père adoptif de ceux qu'en sa noire colère
Du paradis terrestre a chassés Dieu le Père,
Ô Satan, prends pitié de ma longue misère!

Prière

Gloire et louange à toi, Satan, dans les hauteurs
Du Ciel, où tu régnas, et dans les profondeurs
De l'Enfer, où, vaincu, tu rêves en silence!

Fais que mon âme un jour, sous l'Arbre de Science,
Près de toi se repose, à l'heure où sur ton front
Comme un Temple nouveau ses rameaux s'épandront!

- Charles Baudelaire



Litanies of Satan


Wisest of Angels, whom your fate betrays,
And, fairest of them all, deprives of praise,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

O Prince of exiles, who have suffered wrong,
Yet, vanquished, rise from every fall more strong,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

All-knowing lord of subterranean things,
Who remedy our human sufferings,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

To lepers and lost beggars full of lice,
You teach, through love, the taste of Paradise.
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You who on Death, your old and sturdy wife,
Engendered Hope — sweet folly of this life —
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You give to the doomed man that calm, unbaffled
Gaze that rebukes the mob around the scaffold,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You know in what closed corners of the earth
A jealous God has hidden gems of worth.
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You know the deepest arsenals, where slumber
The breeds of buried metals without number.
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You whose huge hand has hidden the abyss
From sleepwalkers that skirt the precipice,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You who give suppleness to drunkards' bones
When trampled down by horses on the stones,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You who, to make his sufferings the lighter,
Taught man to mix the sulphur with the nitre,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You fix your mask, accomplice full of guile,
On rich men's foreheads, pitiless and vile.
Satan have pity on my long despair!

You who fill the hearts and eyes of whores
With love of trifles and the cult of sores,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

The exile's staff, inventor's lamp, caresser
Of hanged men, and of plotters the confessor,
Satan have pity on my long despair!

Step-father of all those who, robbed of pardon,
God drove in anger out of Eden's garden
Satan have pity on my long despair!

Prayer

Praise to you, Satan! in the heights you lit,
And also in the deeps where now you sit,
Vanquished, in Hell, and dream in hushed defiance

O that my soul, beneath the Tree of Science
Might rest near you, while shadowing your brows,
It spreads a second Temple with its boughs.

- translated by Roy Campbell



Litany to Satan


O grandest of the Angels, and most wise,
O fallen God, fate-driven from the skies,
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

O first of exiles who endurest wrong,
Yet growest, in thy hatred, still more strong,
Satan, at last take pity on our pain!

O subterranean King, omniscient,
Healer of man’s immortal discontent,
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

To lepers and to outcasts thou dost show
That Passion is the Paradise below.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou by thy mistress Death hast given to man
Hope, the imperishable courtesan.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou givest to the Guilty their calm mien
Which damns the crowd around the guillotine.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou knowest the corners of the jealous Earth
Where God has hidden jewels of great worth.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou dost discover by mysterious signs
Where sleep the buried people of the mines.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou stretchest forth a saving hand to keep
Such men as roam upon the roofs in sleep.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thy power can make the halting Drunkard’s feet
Avoid the peril of the surging street.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thou, to console our helplessness, didst plot
The cunning use of powder and of shot.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Thy awful name is written as with pitch
On the unrelenting foreheads of the rich.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

In strange and hidden places thou dost move
Where women cry for torture in their love.
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

Father of those whom God’s tempestuous ire
Has flung from Paradise with sword and fire,
Satan, at last take pity on our pain.

- translated by James Elroy Flecker

 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quote of the day

Le Suicidé, Édouard Manet, c. 1880

What is experience? A pitiful little shack built out of the ruins of those gold and marbled palaces called illusions.  
                                                                      - Joseph Roux

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Dance of Death

The Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut, 1493


Totentanz (The Dance of Death)
 
 
The warder looks down at the mid hour of night,
On the tombs that lie scatter’d below:
The moon fills the place with her silvery light,
And the churchyard like day seems to glow.
When see! first one grave, then another opens wide,
And women and men stepping forth are descried,
in cerements snow-white and trailing.
In haste for the sport soon their ankles they twitch,
And whirl round in dances so gay;
The young and the old, and the poor, and the rich,
But the cerements stand in their way;
And as modesty cannot avail them aught here,
They shake themselves all, and the shrouds soon appear
Scatter’d over the tombs in confusion.
Now waggles the leg, and now wriggles the thigh,
As the troop with strange gestures advance,
And a rattle and clatter anon rises high,
As of one beating time to the dance.
The sight to the warder seems wondrously queer,
When the villainous Tempter speaks thus in his ear:
“Seize one of the shrouds that lie yonder!”
Quick as thought it was done! and for safety he fled
Behind the church-door with all speed;
The moon still continues her clear light to shed
On the dance that they fearfully lead.
But the dancers at length disappear one by one,
And their shrouds, ere they vanish, they carefully don,
And under the turf all is quiet.
But one of them stumbles and shuffles there still,
And gropes at the graves in despair;
Yet ’tis by no comrade he’s treated so ill
The shroud he soon scents in the air.
So he rattles the door—for the warder ’tis well
That ’tis bless’d, and so able the foe to repel,
All cover’d with crosses in metal.
The shroud he must have, and no rest will allow,
There remains for reflection no time;
On the ornaments Gothic the wight seizes now,
And from point on to point hastes to climb.
Alas for the warder! his doom is decreed!
Like a long-legged spider, with ne’er-changing speed,
Advances the dreaded pursuer.
The warder he quakes, and the warder turns pale,
The shroud to restore fain had sought;
When the end,—now can nothing to save him avail—
In a tooth formed of iron is caught.
With vanishing lustre the moon’s race is run,
When the bell thunders loudly a powerful One,
And the skeleton fails, crush’d to atoms.


- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1813), translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring (1874)

Source:

The Poems of Goethe - Translated in the Original Metres by Edgar Alfred Bowring, E. A. B. London, 1874




Enrico Pace plays Totentanz at the Liszt competition in the Netherlands in 1989.






I love his hair.

Happy All Hallows Eve.