L’âme évaporée et souffrante

The fanting, suffereing soul

L’âme évaporée et souffrante,

L’âme douce, l’âme odorante

Des lys divins que j’ai cueillis

Dans le jardin de ta pensée,

Où donc les vents l’ont-ils chassée,

Cette âme adorable des lys?

The fainting, suffering soul,

the gentle soul, the perfumed soul

of the divine lilies that I picked

in the garden of your thought,

whither have the winds scattered them,

that adorable soul of the lilies?

N’est-il plus un parfum qui reste

De la suavité céleste

Des jours où tu m’enveloppais

D’une vapeur surnaturelle,

Faite d’espoir, d’amour fidèle,

De béatitude et de paix?

Does not a breath of scent survive

of the celestial sweetness

of those days when you enfolded me

in an otherwordly vapour,

a blend of hope, of faithful love,

of blessedness and peace?

– Paul Bourget

Love. What does it mean – has too many faces, driving hearts to blood-boiling extremes of agony and passion among confusion and misunderstandings – ah, sighs, tear-soaked – drugs one’s soul, like morphine, yet it seems so real, so real that it might suffocate one to sweet and miserable and longing

death.

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