Gérard de Nerval : The Disinherited

The Disinherited

I am the dark one,—the widower,—the unconsoled,
The prince of Aquitaine at his stricken tower:
My sole star is dead,—and my constellated lute
Bears the black sun of the Melencolia.

In the night of the tomb, you who consoled me,
Give me back Mount Posilipo and the Italian sea,
The flower which pleased so my desolate heart,
And the trellis where the grape vine unites with the rose.

Am I Amor or Phoebus?…Lusignan or Biron?
My forehead is still red from the kiss of the queen;
I have dreamed in the grotto where the mermaid swims…

And two times victorious I have crossed the Acheron:
Modulating turn by turn on the lyre of Orpheus
The sighs of the saint and the cries of the fay.

Translated by Robert Duncan

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