Virginie Sampeur

Poem Title or First Line

L’Abandonnée / The Abandoned Woman

Authors

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Author

Virginie Sampeur

Translation By

Ann-Ysabelle Flynn

Translator Biography

Ann-ysabelle Flynn is pursuing a BS in Biology with a minor in French at Montclair State University. She speaks English, French, and Haitian Creole and one day aspires to be a pediatric surgeon. Ann-ysabelle spends her free time being adventurous or working out at the gym.

Publication Date

2022

Description

English translation of Virginie Sampeur's L’Abandonnée by Ann-Ysabelle Flynn

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

L’Abandonnée / The Abandoned Woman

English translation of Virginie Sampeur's L’Abandonnée by Ann-Ysabelle Flynn

Original Work

L’Abandonnée


Ah ! si vous étiez mort ! De mon âme meurtrie

Je ferais une tombe, où, retraite chérie,

Mes larmes couleraient lentement, sans remords:

Que votre image en moi resterait radieuse!

Que sous le deuil mon âme aurait été joyeuse!

Ah! si vous étiez mort!


Je ferais de mon coeur l'urne mélancolique

Abritant du passé la suave relique,

Comme ces coffrets d'or qui gardent les parfums:

Je ferais de mon âme une ardente chapelle

Où toujours brillerait la dernière étincelle

De mes espoirs défunts.


Ah ! si vous étiez mort, votre éternel silence,

Moins âpre qu’en ce jour, aurait son éloquence,

Car ce ne serait plus le cruel abandon.

Je dirais: "Il est mort, mais il sait bien m'entendre,

"Et peut-être en mourant n'a-t-il su se défendre

"De murmurer: Pardon!"


Mais vous n'êtes pas mort! ô douleur sans mesure!

Regret qui fait jaillir le sang de ma blessure!

Je ne puis m'empêcher, moi, de me souvenir,

Même quand vous restez devant mes larmes vraies,

Sec et froid, sans donner à mes profondes plaies

L'aumône d'un soupir!...


Ingrat ! vous vivez donc, quand tout me dit: vengeance !

Mais je n’écoute pas ! A défaut d’espérance,

Le passé par instants revient, me berce encor... Illusion, folie, ou vain rêve de femme!...

Je vous aimerais tant, si vous n'étiez qu'une âme!

Ah! que n'êtes-vous mort!


Poem by Virginie Sampeur

(anthologized in Morpeau 89-90)

Translated Work

L’Abandonnée


Ah! If you were dead! I would make a tomb

Of my wounded soul, where, darling retreat,

My tears would fall slowly, without remorse:

How your image would remain radiant within me!

How in mourning my soul would have been glad!

Ah! If you were dead!


I would make of my heart a melancholy urn

Housing the smooth relic of the past,

Like caskets of gold that guard perfume:

I would make of my soul a chapelle ardente*

Where the last spark

Of my dead hopes would forever shine.


Ah! If you were dead, your eternal silence,

Would have an eloquence less harsh than today's

For it would not be cruel abandonment.

I would say: “he is dead, but he can hear me,

And maybe while dying, he might have

Murmured: 'Sorry!'”


But you are not dead! O pain beyond measure!

Regret that bursts the blood from my wound!

I cannot stop myself from remembering,

Even when you stand, dry and cold, before my true tears

Without according my deep wounds.

Even the balm of a sigh!...


Ungrateful! You live when everything says: vengeance!

But I do not listen! For lack of hope

The past returns bit by bit, cradling me again,...

Illusion, madness or vain dreams of a woman!...

I would love you so much, if you were only a soul!

Ah! why aren’t you dead!


Translated by Ann-Ysabelle Flynn, 2022


*Translator's Note: a "chapelle ardente" is a special chapel for commemorating important people before their burial.