E. Armand, “Un Portrait / A Portrait” (1906)

Un Portrait

J’ai cloué sur le mur un portrait de Reclus,
Dans un cadre en carton, car je ne suis pas riche.
Je garde ce portrait, non pas comme un fétiche,
Mais comme un souvenir de celui qui n’est plus.

J’aime, si vous saviez, son regard tendre et clair :
Ce regard tout empreint d’une bonté profonde.
—
Consolante bonté, baume, à merveilleuse onde
Qui passe, adoucissant le sort le plus amer. —

Injuste qui tairait sa vaste connaissance…
Mais qu’il m’est doux penser que jamais l’indulgence
Ne déserta son cœur et qu’en toute saison

Plus on était meurtri, lus, bas tombé, coupable,
Plus on trouvait son âme ouverte et secourable…
Oh! comme ce regard raconte qu’il fut bon !

Juin-juillet 1906.

E. Armand

A Portrait

I have pinned upon my wall a portrait of Reclus, in a cardboard frame, because I am not rich.
I keep this portrait, not as a fetish, but as a souvenir of one who is no more.

I love, if you must known, his clear and tender gaze:
That expression imbued with a deep kindness.
— Comforting goodness, balm, oh marvelous wave that passes, sweetening the most bitter fate. —

He would have been unjust to withhold his vast knowledge…

But how sweet it is for me to think that indulgence never deserted his heart and that, in all seasons, the more bruised, weary, downtrodden and condemned one was, the more open and helpful one found his soul…

Oh! How that look speaks of his great goodness!

June-July 1906.

E. Armand

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2417 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.