hawthorne_dusk (hawthorne_dusk) wrote,

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Fils, apprends comme on me nomme

I mourn for that most lonely thing; and yet God's will be done:
I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day.
~W. B. Yeats~

I was reminded of a poem I liked (in English, never took French) because an artist I'm a fan of illustrated the French version and I happened by her site and re-read it. La Coccinelle, as formed by Erika , if you're interested (you should be!). It's a lovely little poem, really. I'd love to be able to read it in French. Ah well!

La Coccinelle
by Victo Hugo

Elle me dit: "Quelque chose
Me tourmente." Et j'aperçus
Son cou de neige, et, dessus,
Un petit insecte rose.

J'aurais dû - mais, sage ou fou,
À seize ans, on est farouche, -
Voir le baiser sur sa bouche
Plus que l'insecte à son cou.

On eût dit un coquillage;
Dos rose et taché de noir.
Les fauvettes pour nous voir
Se penchaient dans le feuillage.

Sa bouche fraîche était là:
Je me courbai sur la belle,
Et je pris la coccinelle;
Mais le baiser s'envola.

"Fils, apprends comme on me nomme",
Dit l'insecte du ciel bleu,
"Les bêtes sont au bon Dieu;
Mais la bêtise est à l'homme."

She said to me: "Something is
Bothering me." And I saw,
On her snow-white neck,
A little red bug.

I should have - but smart or foolish,
One is timid at 16 -
Seen the kiss on her lips
More than the bug on her neck.

One would say a shell;
Red back and dotted with black.
To see us the wild birds
Had to crane their necks in the bushes.

Her fresh lips were there:
I leaned in towards the beauty,
And I took the ladybug;
But the kiss flew away.

"Son, learn as I am named,"
Said the bug in the blue sky,
"The beasts belong to God;
But stupidity belongs to man."
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