Carcassonne, (c. 1887; with translation by John Reuben Thompson)
- Je me fais vieux, j’ai soixante ans,
J’ai travaillé toute ma vie,
Sans avoir, durant tout ce temps.
Pu satisfaire mon envie.
Je vois bien qu’il n’est ici-bas
De bonheur complet pour personne.
Mon vœu ne s’accomplira pas:
Je n’ai jamais vu Carcassonne!
I’m growing old, I’m sixty years;
I’ve labored all my life in vain.
In all that time of hopes and fears,
I’ve failed my dearest wish to gain.
I see full well that here below
Bliss unalloyed there is for none
My prayer would else fulfilment know —
Never have I seen Carcassonne!
- Stanza 1.
- Yet could I these two days have spent,
While still the autumn sweetly shone,
Ah, me! I might have died content
When I had looked on Carcassonne.
- Stanza 2.
- They tell me every day is there
Not more nor less than Sunday gay;
In shining robes and garments fair
The people walk upon their way.
One gazes there on castle walls
As grand as those of Babylon,
A bishop and two generals!
What joy to be in Carcassonne!
Ah! might I but see Carcassonne!
- Stanza 3.
- The vicar’s right; he says that we
Are ever wayward, weak and blind;
He tells us in his homily
Ambition ruins all mankind;
- Stanza 4.
- Thy pardon, Father, I beseech,
In this my prayer if I offend;
One something sees beyond his reach
From childhood to his journey’s end.
My wife, our little boy Aignan,
Have travelled even to Narbonne;
My grandchild has seen Perpignan;
And I — have not seen Carcassonne.
- Stanza 5.