The Irreparable (L’Irréparable)

Can we smother the ancient Remorse
That squirms and prods and pokes
And feeds on us like a worm on a corpse
Like the beetle on the oak?
Can we smother the relentless Remorse?

In what potion, in what brew, what wine
Can we drown this old irritant,
Destructive and greedy as the concubine,
As patient as the ant?
In what potion, in what brew, what wine?

Say it, beautiful witch, if you know,
In this age filled with gloom
Tell the dying man crushed below
The fleeing horse’s shoe
Say it, beautiful witch, if you know,

This tortured man the wolf already tracks
The wolf who follows the raven,
Tell this broken soldier! Must he go black
A tomb his only haven?
This poor dying man the wolf already tracks.

Can you even brighten a sky that’s so dark?
Can we tear through the shadows?
Denser than pitch, admitting no spark
No evening star or afterglow
Can you brighten sky so dark?

Hope shone through the windows of the Inn
But now has it sputtered and died
Now without even a pale moon to shine
We wander a cursed countryside
The Devil has darkened the lights of the Inn!

Adorable witch, do you love the damned?
Are you in league with the unrepentant?
Do you steady the wavering hand
That aims at our hearts venomous darts?
Adorable witch, are you in love with the damned?

The Irreparable gnaws with cursed tooth
Our being, such a futile monument,
Like a termite devouring from cellar to roof
Until we collapse in debasement.
The Irreparable gnaws with cursed tooth.

II

I used to see, when attending some theater show
The stage enflamed by the orchestral blare,
A fairy light in a sky with fire aglow
A dawn miraculous and rare
I used to see, when attending some theater show

A being, light, golden, and gauze
Overwhelming a Demon cruel and great
My poor heart, that never from trouble withdraws
Is the theater where I await
Always, always in vain, this creature with wings of gauze!

See original here.

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