Gérard de Nerval: The Disinherited

Translated by R J Dent

disinherited

I’m sorrowful, widowed, disconsolate,

the Prince of Aquitaine whose tower’s in ruins;

my lone star’s dead – my constellated lute

carries a black and melancholy sun.


In the night of the grave, you consoled me;

gave me Naples and the Italian sea;

the flower that so pleased my distressed heart;

the arbour where the vine and rose entwine.


Am I Cupid or Phoebus?… Lusignan or Byron?

My forehead’s still burning from the queen’s kiss;

I’ve dreamed in the caves where the sirens swim…


Twice victorious, I’ve crossed Acheron;

modulating – on Orpheus’s lyre –

the sigh of the saint and the fairy’s cry.


The Disinherited

By Gérard de Nerval

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

www.rjdent.com

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