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Song of wine

a poem from Émile Nelligan
images by Jean-Paul Ladouceur

Translation by Fred Fogswell from the original version
la romance du vin
Serigraphs limited edition art album.

100 albums numbered and signed

Price: 2500$ can.
fresh in joy's live light all things coincide,
this fine may eve! like living hopes that once
were in my heart, the choring birds once
their prelude to my window open wide.

o fine may eve! o happy eve of may!
adistant organ beats out frigid chords;
and long shafts of sun, like crimson swords,
cuts to the heart the scent of dying day.

how gay, how glad am i! pour out, pour out
once more the wine into the chiming glass
that imay lose the pain of days which pass
in scorn for all the wickewd human rout.

how glad am i ! my wine and art be blest!
i, too, have dreamed of making poetry
that lives, of poems which sound the exequy
for autumn winds that passin far-off mist.

the bitter laugh of rage is now good form,
and i, a poet, must eat scorn for food.
i have a heart but am not understood
exept in moonlight and in great nights of storm.

woman ! i drink to you who mock the path
where the rose-dream calls with arms flung wide;
i drink, too, to you men with brows of pride
who first refuse my hand then scorn my life!

when the starry sky besomes ome glorious roof,
and when a hymn resounds for golden spring,
i do not weep for all the days'calm going,
who wary grope within my own black youth.

hoy glad am i, may eve all eves above.
not drunk but desperately glad am i!...
has living grown at last to be a joy?
has my heart. too, been healed of my sick love?
the clocks have struck and the wind smells of night
now the wine gurgles as i pour it out.
so glad am i that i laugh and shout
i fear i shall break down and sob outright.

fred cogswell, the complete poems of emile nelligan, harvest house ltd., 1983