The Nacreous Oughts

03 July 2008

    The Desperado

I am the bereaved, the widower, the shadowy,
the Cathar prince of the devastated citadel:
my guiding star is snuffed, my galactic lute
carries Melancholy's sable pentacle.

You who consoled me in the ark of the sepulcher,
give me back Posilipo & the Mediterranean,
the fragrance that enchanted my sere despair,
& that arbor where the rose & grape are intimate!

Am I Cupid or Apollo? ...Poe or Byron?
The kiss of some dread queen still stains my brow;
I have dreamed in the grotto where the siren plashes...
& twice have I crossed Acheron victorious:

practicing in turn on the lyre of Orpheus
moans of a mystic, sobs of a dying elf.

--GĂ©rard de Nerval (my tr.)

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