Song of the Despairing

All through the days and years,
I sing and sing.


The song I sing to me
Is sad and jolly:

Old pain gives it a smile
And joy weeps at it.


It’s the drunken, distraught joy

Of branches cut down,
Of branches with new leaves
Dropped into the water.


It’s the dance of snow
That turns and tumbles,
Rises, dreams and plunges
Onto an icy desert;


It’s, in a summer garden,
A blind man’s teary laughter
As he stumbles through the flowers.

It’s a holiday murmur
Or children playing
You hear from the cemetery.


It’s the song for always,
Poignant and light,
That grabs but doesn’t strangle
The world’s harsh law;


It is eternal distress,
It is the pleasure
To go as a pilgrim
Filled with dying and filled with desiring!


Filled with dying and filled with desiring,

I sing and sing!

It’s my fortune and my wealth
To have in my heart
Ever kindled and loyal
And ready to fire,


This pale beam raising dust

On all suffering;

This cry of pity

On each happiness.


Charles Vildrac