to Bulldog Breath grid
CHARLES BAUDELAIRE to poetry by dead poets index

Bohémiens en voyage

La tribu prophétique aux prunelles ardentes
Hier s'est mise en route, emportant ses petits
Sur son dos, ou livrant à leurs fiers appétits
Le trésor toujours prêt des mamelles pendantes.

Les hommes vont à pied sous leurs armes luisantes
Le long des chariots où les leurs sont blottis,
Promenant sur le ciel des yeux appesantis
Par le morne regret des chimères absentes.

Du fond de son réduit sablonneux, le grillon,
Les regardant passer, redouble sa chanson;
Cybèle, qui les aime, augmente ses verdures,

Fait couler le rocher et fleurir le désert
Devant ces voyageurs, pour lesquels est ouvert
L'empire familier des ténèbres futures.

The Gypsies

They set out yesterday again, the tribe of seers
With burning eyes--bearing their little ones in nests
Slung from their backs, or giving them, to stop their tears,
The treasure of ungrudging, ever handy breasts.

The men walk, shoulders hung with gleaming musketry,
Beside the carts in which their huddled families ride
Their eyes sweeping the sky, as if they hoped to see
Visions that once enticed them but would not abide.

No matter where they journey through the meagre land,
The cricket will sing louder from his lair of sand,
And Cybele, who loves them, will smile where they advance,

Making the dry rock trickle and the desert bloom
Before the footsteps of these wayfarers, for whom
Spreads out familiarly the clouded realm of chance.

G. D.

Source of text:
Baudelaire, Charles: Les Fleurs du Mal, translated by George Dillon and Edna St. Vincent Millay, Washington Square Press, Inc. (paperback, 1962), New York, 1936. page 31

to Bulldog Breath grid
web page by Gregory Severance
email =
to poetry by dead poets index