The Voice

We present this work in honor of the 85th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Henri de Regnier
French
1864 – 1936

 

I do not wish anyone to be near my sadness—
Not even your dear step and your loved face,
Nor your indolent hand which caresses with a finger
The lazy ribbon and the closed book.

Leave me. Let my door today remain closed;
Do not open my window to the fresh wind of morning;
My heart today is miserable and sullen
And everything seems to me somber and everything seems vain.

My sadness comes from something further than myself;
It is strange to me and is not of me;
And every man, whether he sings or he laughs or he loves,
In his time hears that which speaks low to him,

And something then stirs and awakens,
Is perturbed, spreads and laments in him,
Because of this dull voice which says in his ear
That the flower of life in its fruit is ashes.

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