Friday, October 2, 2009

Chanson d'automne

Les sanglots longs
des violons de l'automne
blessent mon cœur
d'une langueur monotone

The long sobs
Of the violins of autumn
Wound my heart
With a monotonous langour.
--- Paul Verlaine

(This poem was used by Radio London to alert the French Resistance to the imminence of the D-day invasion; the second couplet was a signal that the invasion would commence within 24 hours.)

I was talking to a French-Canadian friend on the phone last night, and she and I agreed that one of the best things about middle age and beginning to be old, is that the goal is in sight. I think Chesterton called it "the inn at the end of the road," and he did write this:

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

Reminds me too of St. Paul's thought that "I have run the race."
One of the most important points of Catholic Christianity is that we do not belong here; we were made for Heaven, and this life is only a short eye-blink of preparation for the real thing. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered the mind of man, what things God has prepared for those who love Him."

No comments:

Post a Comment