The Flâneur

Paris > El Desdichado

El Desdichado

Gerard Nerval (1854)

I am the one in shadows, - the widower, - the disconsolate,
The prince of Aquitaine of the tower destroyed;
My sole star is dead, - and my spangled lute
Bears the black Sun of Melancholy.

In the night of the tomb, you who consoled me,
Give me back Pausilippe and the sea of Italy,
The flower which so pleased my desolate heart,
And the arbour where the vine and rose entwine.

Am I Amour or Phébus?… Lusignan or Byron?
My forehead is still red from the kiss of a queen;
I have dreamed in the grotto where the siren swims…

And I have twice victorious traversed the Achéron,
Inflecting in turn on the lyre of Orphée
The sighs of the saint and the cries of the fay.