el desdichado

I am the shadow, the widower, the unconsoled,
the Aquitanian prince with the ruined tower;
my only star is dead, and my star-strewn lute
bears the black sun of Melancholy.

You who consoled me, in the night of the tomb,
give me back Posillipo and the Italian sea,
the flower which please my grief-stricken heart so much,
and the arbour where the vine joints with the rose.

Am I Love or Phoebus?… Lusignan or Biron?
My brow is still red from the queen’s kiss;
I have dreamed in the cave where the siren swims. …

And I have twice crossed Acheron victoriously:
tuning in turn on Orpheus’s lyre
the sighs of the saint and the fairy’s cries.

Gérard de Nerval


I, sinner

I confess that I stole the soul of Christ’s heart
that I killed a flower from the back
and shot the stork.
I confess that
I ate all the apples
and that I sigh three times
when the moon rises.
That I lied to innocence
and pounded tenderness.
I confess that I have desired my neighbors
and that I have impure thoughts
about a certain saint.
I confess that I sold myself for money.
That I am not me
and have sinned in thought
word and omission.
And I confess that I do not repent.

Miranda Rupailaf