Yves Bonnefoy

the house where
i was born (6)

I woke up, but I was travelling,
The train had rolled throughout the night,
It was now going toward huge clouds
That were standing, packed together, down there,
Dawn rent from time to time by forks of lightning.
I watched the advent of the world
In the bushes of the embankment; and all at once
That other fire below a field
Of stones and vines. The wind, the rain
Blew its smoke back against the ground,
But a red flame flared up,
Taking by the handful the base of the sky.
How long were you burning, wine grower’s fire,
Who wanted you there, and for whom on this earth?

And then it was day; and the sun
Cast its thousand shafts of light
On the lace that covered the blue woolen cushions
In the compartment where people slept,
Their heads still nodding. I did not sleep,
I was still at the age when one is full of hope,
I dedicated my words to the low mountains
That I could see coming through the windows.

Je m’éveillai, mais c’était en voyage,
Le train avait roulé toute la nuit,
Il allait maintenant vers de grands nuages
Debout là-bas, serrés, aube que déchirait
A des instants le lacet de la foudre.
Je regardais l’avènement du monde
Dans les buissons du remblai ; et soudain
Cet autre feu, en contrebas d’un champ
De pierres et de vignes. Le vent, la pluie
Rabattaient sa fumée contre le sol,
Mais une flamme rouge s’y redressait,
Prenant à pleine mains le bas du ciel.
Depuis quand brûlais-tu, feu des vignerons ?
Qui t’avait voulu là et pour qui sur terre ?

Après quoi il fit jour ; et le soleil
Jeta de toutes parts ses milliers de flèches
Dans le compartiment où des dormeurs
La tête dodelinait encore, sur la dentelle
Des coussins de lainage bleu. Je ne dormais pas,
J’avais trop l’âge encore de l’espérance,
Je dédiais mes mots aux montagnes basses,
Que je voyais venir à travers les vitres.