Friday, August 23, 2013

The Lake

The other day, while I was rummaging through an old scrapbook, I found a poem taped to a page.
I had completely forgotten that this poem was my favorite thing ever about three years ago! I swear to you, I remember feeling like it spoke directly to my heart, and I'd read it over and over and over again. I just loved it so much! Not only that, but it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard in french and I think hearing it in french really made me fall in love with the language itself.
Anyways, when I found it again, I read it and instantly fell back in love. It really is beautiful and is definitely my favorite poem ever. (and I really really like poetry so that's saying a lot!)

But I'll let you be the judge :
{and I'll spare you the french version and just put english ;) }

{Translation found here}

The Lake

So then, forever pushed toward new shores like this,
swept away into eternal night without return
on the ocean of the ages-- can we never
cast anchor for a single day?
O lake! the year is scarcely over,
and near the beloved waters that she should have seen again,
look! I've come alone to sit on this stone
where you saw her sitting!
You groaned the same way then under these deep rocks;
you broke the same way on their torn flanks;
the wind threw the foam from your waves the same way
on her adored feet.
One evening, do you remember? We were floating in silence;
on the waves, beneath the sky, there was nothing to hear but
the distant sound of oarsmen beating in rhythm
against your harmonious waves.
Suddenly unearthly accents
came echoing from the enchanted shore:
the water listened, and the voice that I love
let fall these words:
"O time, suspend your flight! and you, happy hours,
suspend your race:
let us savor the fleet delights
of our fairest days!
"Enough unhappy people here beg you--
rush, rush for them;
take their days and the cares that devour them--
forget the happy people.
"But I ask in vain for a few more moments,
time escapes me and flees;
I say to this night: Be slower; and dawn
comes to melt the night.
"Let us love then, let us love! let us revel in
the flying hour-- hurry!
Man has no harbor, Time has no shore;
it flows, and we pass!"
Envious Time, can it be that these euphoric moments,
when love pours out long surges of happiness for us,
fly away from us at the same speed
as the unhappy days?
What! Can't we at least hold on to the traces?
What! gone forever? What! completely lost?
The same Time that gave them, the same Time that erased them,
will never give them back to us?
Eternity, nothingness, Past, dark chasms,
what do you do with the days you engulf?
Speak: will you give us back that sublime ecstasy
that you snatch from us?
O lake! silent rocks! caves! dark forest!
you whom Time spares or can make young again,
beautiful Nature-- keep, keep from that night
at least the memory!
May it be in your rest, may it be in your storms,
beautiful lake, and in the look of your smiling shoreline,
and in these black pines, and in these wild rocks
leaning over your waters.
May it be in the soft wind that shivers and passes,
in the sounds of the lake water lapping your banks,
in the silver-browed star that whitens your surface
with its soft clearness.
May the wind that groans, the reed that sighs,
may the soft scent of your fragrant air,
may everything that is heard, seen or breathed
all say: They loved!
      --Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) fell in love with Julie Charles, a married woman, after rescuing her from drowning in the Lake of Bourget, in the foothills of the Alps. He fell in love with her, but she died soon afterwards. Returning to the lake in 1817, he wrote this poem, his most famous.

Ok, I lied. I have to at least put my favorite stanza in french. 

"Aimons donc, aimons donc ! de l’heure fugitive,
h√Ętons-nous, jouissons!
L’homme n’a point de port, le temps n’a point de rive ;
il coule, et nous passons!"

 I'll let you try and figure out which one that is :)
{unless you speak french, which would be awkward because then you would, in fact, know. }



Whats your favorite poem?

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