Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Abel Et Cain

Race of Abel, sleep, eat and drink;
God smiles on you complacently.

Race of Cain, crawl on your belly,
Die in the mire wretchedly.

Race of Abel, your sacrifice
Delights the nose of the Seraphim!

Race of Cain, will there ever be
An ending to your punishment?

Race of Abel, see your sowing
And your cattle thrive and flourish;

Race of Cain, your bowels
Howl with hunger like an old dog.

Race of Abel, warm your belly
At your patriarchal hearth;

Race of Cain, shiver with the cold
In your cavern, wretched jackal!

Race of Abel, love, pullulate!
Even your gold has progeny.

Race of Cain, with the burning heart,
Beware of those intense desires.

Race of Abel, you browse and grow
Like the insects of the forest!

Race of Cain, along the highways
Drag your destitute family.


Ah! race of Abel, your carcass
Will fertilize the steaming soil!

Race of Cain, your appointed task
Has not been adequately done;

Race of Abel, your disgrace is:
The sword is conquered by the pike!

Race of Cain, ascend to heaven,
And cast down God upon the earth!

Charles Baudelaire, from Fleurs du mal. ( Translated by William Aggeler)
This poem has been sung in her characteristic Gothic style by the unique Diamanda Galas in French, and it is one of the many superb "Songs" in the album called Malediction and Prayer.

No comments: