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English language
DELILAH (SATIRE V)
Limba Romana
DALILA (Scrisoarea V)
The Bible tells of Samson's wife that she deprived him of his power
By cutting off his hair while he did sleep, and that his foes that hour
Quick fell upon him, bound him hand and foot, and branded out his eyes,
Which shows what quality of soul is had beneath sweet woman's guise.
Young men, you, who filled with dreams' enchantment, a woman's graces would fain,
When glows the moon's bright golden shield o'er field and sylvan lane
And splashes on the earth green shadows that with mystery are fraught
Remember that a woman's skirts are long, her understanding short.
For you are drunken with the magic of a wondrous summer dream
That in you is lighted... But ask her longing, and I deem
That she will speak to you of frills and bows, and of the latest mode,
While secretly within your heart there beats the rhythm of an ode.
So, when she leans upon you fondlingly and fills you with her spells,
Beware 'tis demon lore. Think what the Bible of Dlilah tells.

She is winsome, it is understood, and childish are her wiles,
Sweet girlish dimples still adorn her cheeks whene'er she smiles,
And there are dimples at the corners of her mouth that murder hides,
And on each finger there are dimples too, and many more besides.
Not too small, and not too portly, not too slight, yet slim of waist,
Just an armful for a lover, just designed to be embraced;
All she says seems to become her, all she does befits her too,
All she wears sits well upon her, just as though it were her due.
When she speaks her voice is pleasing, even her silence does endear,
Though her words may say "Get from me," will her smile say "No, come here!"
And her stride is smooth as music, music rustles from her dress.
Languorous in every movement, always courting a caress.
Till, when rising on her tiptoes for her lips to reach your own,
She will kiss you with a secret warmth and mystery unknown,
A secret warmth that nowhere else than in a woman's soul can burn.
O, ravishing indeed the bliss that you imagine you will learn
When in her circling arms you watch the glow of love her cheeks engage!
She-so queenlike and so wayward; you - more fervent than her page.
You will fancy in your rapture when you gaze into her eyes
You have learned to value living right, and even death appraise.
And thus poisoned by a delicate, agreeable dejection,
You will see in her the reigning queen of your sad mind's affection
And fancying for you are shed the tears that on her lashes gleam,
Far more beautiful than Venus Anadyomene she will seem;
Until lost in lote's oblivion, where the hours take swiftest flight,
Every day she will grow dearer, more adored every night.

Illusion ! How don't you understand? The expression of her gentle face
Is nothing but a mask, a lie; her smile, her sadness, a grimace.
How don't you see to make believe, to cheat is all her heart's concern
And that you give your very soul to her, but get naught in return.
Vain indeed the seven-stringed lyre, true companion of your wooing,
Sings unheard with sombre cadence the complaint of your undoing.
O'er your eyes a veil of fable with deft fingers she has lain
As when the frosty flowers of winter spread their wonder o'er the pane,
While in your heart still summer blows; until you cry "Dear love allow
My flowing tears to bless with pious bitter reverence your brow !"
How should she guess it is a demon in your heart that does pursue
Her charm with such strange thirsty fire; a demon in your heart, not you;
And that this demon laughing, weeping tears unable to restrain

Would but capture her in order that he might himself explain.
Like a struggling armless sculptor in his torment does he seem,
Or a composer deaf becoming at the moment all supreme
When at last he hears the music of the planets on their courses
Born of cosmic gravity and flying centrifugal forces.
Little does she guess that demon is but for his model wooing;
Marble she with eyes of shadow and a voice like pigeons cooing.
Nor does he require that she upon a sacrificial altar die,
As was the sacred ritual custom once in ages long gone by
When a virgin for the model of a goddess had been chosen
And her graceful living loveliness in deathless marble frozen.

But to understand himself this demon would from death arise,
Ravished by the fire within him, thus himself to recognize;
Painting then his longing ardour and his passion's thirsty flow
In divine adonic verses, as did Horace long ago.
He would draw from vision's wonder many a leaping woodland stream,
Humid, shady forest dingle, stars that in the distance gleam,
Until that strange and secret moment of the birth of fairy rhymes
When in his dreams is recreated fairest dream of ancient times.
While with passion deep unbridled he will gaze on her adoring
And within her eyes so childish, sweet salvation there imploring.
In his arms would he embrace her while the endless ages rolled,
Melt beneath his burning kisses eyes that shine a radiance cold;
For indeed with so much loving melt at last would heart of stone,
When before her humbly kneeling he entreats in humble tone.
Happiness his soul consuming, he grows mad beneath love's thrill,
Midst the tempest of his passion, that grows ever wilder still.
Does she guess a single moment she could give the world entire
Should she let the waves engulf her and content his heart's aspire,
She could flood with starry wonder depths of nameless solitude?

With a smile of courtesan, but with timid eyes and prude,
She pretends to understand him. Women all soon flattered are
And will be so long as beauty blows upon this star.
A woman among flowers, a flower among a thousand women is she
And will please to endless time. But let her take a choice of three
Who standing round all tell her that they love her true, and she, so naive,
All of a sudden, you behold, becomes most strangely positive.
She may take for a screen your spirit and heart
Behind which she lures a young suitor, attractive and smart,
Who walks in like an actor, with light steps,
Floating in a wave of spicy fragrance and of chats,
Staring at her through his glasses, a pink in his buttonhole,
He is in clothing and in spirit a perfectly tailored work;
All the four kings of the cards may do for her game
And so their place in her heart's pantry is the same...
When does my lady gently flirt with eyes both innocent and coy,
Dividing up her favours 'twixt an aged rake and unfledged boy,
Her heart does not deceive her, nor subtle understanding cheat
To mix the knave of spades or diamonds with a knave out of the street
Before your wild demonic longing she will like a hermit speak,
But when appears the knave of spades the youthful blood mounts to her cheks
And soon her frosty shining eyes his sombre heart with fire accost,
And you will see her sitting there, one leg upon the other crossed,
The weak in wisdom are instead sometimes beautiful forsooth...

The dream that strong, outspoken fact or any manifested truth
Has power upon this world to change the trend of things in any wise,
This is the time-old stumbling-block that in the path of progress lies.

And so young man, when filled with dreams' enchantment you a woman's graces would fain,
When glows the moon's bright golden shield o'er field and sylvan lane
And splashes on the earth green shadows that with mystery are fraught,

Remember that a woman's skirt is long, her understanding short.
For you are drunken with the magic of a wondrous summer dream
That in you is lighted...
But ask her of her longing, and I deem
That she will speak to you of frills and bows, and of the latest mode,
While secretly within your heart there beats the rhythm of an ode ...
When you see a stone unfeeling, which for pity has no care,
Pause if there's a demon in you, 'tis Delilah, so take care!


Translated by
Corneliu M. Popescu
Biblia ne povesteste de Samson , cum ca muierea, 
Cind dormea, taindu-i parul, i-a luat toata puterea
De l-au prins apoi dusmanii, l-au legat si i-au scos ochii,
Ca dovada de ce suflet sta in pieptii unei rochii...
Tinere, ce plin de visuri urmaresti vre o femeie,
Pe cind luna, scut de aur, straluceste prin alee
Si pateaza umbra verde cu misterioase dungi,
Nu uita ca doamna are minte scurta, haine lungi.
Te imbeti de feeria unui mindru vis de vara,
Care-n tine se petrece ... Ia intreab-o bunaoara -
O sa-ti spuie de panglice , de volane, si de mode,
Pe cind inima ta bate ritmul sfint al unei ode...
Cind cocheta de-al tau umar ti se razima copila,
Daca-ai inima si minte , te gindeste la Dalila.


E frumoasa, se-ntelege... Ca copiii are haz,
Si cind ride face inca si gropite in obraz
Si gropite face-n unghiul ucigasei sale guri
Si la degetele minii si la orice-ncheieturi.
Nu e mica, nu e mare, nu-i subtire, ci-mplinita,
Incit ai ce stringe-n brate - numai buna de iubita.
Tot ce-ar zice i se cade, tot ce face-i sade bine
Si o prinde orice lucru, caci asa se si cuvine.
Daca vorba-i e placuta, si tacerea-i inca place;
Vorba zice : "fugi incolo", risul zice :"vino-ncoace !"
Imbla parca amintindu-si vre un cintec, alintata,
Pare ca i-ar fi tot lene si s-ar cere sarutata.
Si se-nalta din calciie sa-ti ajunga pin' la gura,
Daruind c-o sarutare acea tainica caldura,
Ce n-o are decit numai sufletul unei femei...
Cita fericire crezi tu c-ai gasi in bratele ei !
Te-ai insenina vazindu-i rumenirea din obraji - 
Ea cu toane, o craiasa, iar tu tinar ca un paj -
si adinc privind in ochii-i, ti-ar parea cum ca inveti
Cum viata pret sa aiba si cum moartea s-aiba pret.
Si, inveninat de-o dulce si fermecatoare jale,
Ai vedea in ea craiasa lumii gindurilor tale,
Asa ca, inchipuindu-ti lacramioasele ei gene,
Ti-ar parea mai mindra decit Venus Anadyomene,
Si, in chaosul uitarii , oricum orele alerge,
Ea, din ce in ce mai draga, ti-ar cadea pe zi ce ,merge.

Ce iluzii ! Nu-ntelegi tu, din a ei cautatura,
Ca deprindere, grimasa este zimbetul pe gura,
Ca intreaga -i frumusete e in lume de prisos,
Si ca sufletul ti-l pierde fara nici-un folos ?
In zadar boltita lira, ce din sapte coarde suna,
Tinguirea ta de moarte in cadentele-i aduna;
In zadar in ochi avea-vei umbre mindre din povesti,
Precum iarna se aseaza flori de gheata pe feresti,
Cind in inima e vara... ; In zadar o rogi : "Consacra-mi 
Crestetul cu-ale lui ginduri, sa-l sfintesc cu-a mele lacrimi!"
Ea nici poate sa-nteleaga ca nu tu o vrei... ca-n tine
E un demon ce-nseteaza dupa dulcile-i lumine,
C-acel demon plinge,ride, neputind s-auza plinsu-si,
Ca o vrea... spre-a se-ntelege in sfirsit pe sine insusi,

Ca se zbate ca un sculptor fara brate si ca geme
Ca un maistru ce-asurzeste in momentele supreme.
Pin-a nu ajunge-n culmea dulcii muzice de sfere,
Ce-o aude cum se naste din rotire si cadere .
Ea nu stie c-acel demon vrea sa aiba de model
Marmura-i cu ochii negri si cu glas de porumbel
Si ca nu-icere drept jertfa pe-un altar inalt sa moara,
Precum in vechimea sfinta se junghiau odinioara
Virginile ce statura sculptorilor de modele,
Caci taiau in marmor chipul unei zine dupa ele.

S-ar pricepe pe el insusi acel demon... s-ar renaste,
Mistuit de focul propriu, el atunci s-ar recunoaste
Si, patruns de-ale lui patimi si amoru-i, cu nesatiu
El ar fringe-n vers adonic limba lui ca si Horatiu;
Ar atrage-n visu-i mindru a izvoarelor murmururi,
Umbra umeda din codri, stelele ce ard de-a pururi,
Si-n acel moment de taina, cind s-ar crede ca-i ferice,
Poate-ar invia in ochiu-i ochiul lumii cei antice
Si cu patima adinca ar privi-o s-o adore,
De la ochii ei cei tineri mintuirea s-o implore;
Ar voi in a lui brate sa o tina-n veci de veci,
Dezghetind cu sarutarea-i raza ochilor ei reci.
Caci de piatra de-ar fi, inca s-a-ncalzi de-atit amor,
Cind cazindu-i in genunche, i-ar vorbi tinguitor,
Fericirea inecindu-l, el ar sta sa-nnebuneasca,
Ca-n furtuna lui de patimi si mai mult sa o iubeasca.
Stie oare ea ca poate ca sa-ti dea o lume intreaga,
C-aruncindu-se in valuri si cercind sa te-nteleaga
Ar implea-a ta adincime cu luceferi luminosi ?

Cu zimbiri de curtezana si cu ochi bisericosi,
S-ar preface ca pricepe. Magulite toate sunt
De-a fi umbra frumusetii cei eterne pe pamint.
O femeie intre flori zi-i si o floare-ntre femei -
S-o sa-i placa. Dar o pune sa aleaga intre trei
Ce-o inconjoara, toti zicind ca o iubesc - cit de naiva -
Vei vedea ca de odata ea devine pozitiva.
Tu cu inima si mintea poate esti un paravan
Dupa care ea atrage vre un june curtezan,
Care intra ca actorii cu pasciorul maruntel,
Lasind val de mirodenii si de vorbe dupa el,
O chioreste cu lornionul, butonat cu o garoafa,
Opera critoreasca si in spirit si in stofa ;
Poate ca-i convin tuspatru craii cartilor de joc
Si-n camara inimioarei i-aranseaza la un loc...
si cind dama cocheteaza cu privirile-i galante,
Impartind ale ei vorbe intre-un crai batrin si-un fante,
Nu-i minune ca simtirea-i sa se poata insela,
Sa confunde-un crai de pica cu un crai de mahala...
Caci cu dorul tau demonic va vorbi calugareste,
Pe cind craiul cel de pica de s-arata, pieptu-i creste,
Ochiul inghetat i-l umplu ginduri negre de amor
Si deodata e vioaie, sta picior peste picior,
S-acel sec in judecata-i e cu duh si e frumos...

A visa ca adevarul sau alt lucru de prisos
E in stare ca sa schimbe in natur-un fir de par,
Este piedica eterna ce-o punem la adevar.

Asadar, cind plin de visuri, urmaresti vre o femeie,
Pe cind luna, scut de aur, straluceste prin alee
Si pateaza umbra verde cu fantasticele-i dungi:
Nu uita ca doamna are minte scurta , haine lungi.
Te imbeti de feeria unui mindru vis de vara,
Care-n tine se petrece...
Ia intrab-o , bunaoara,
S-o sa-ti spuie de panglice, de volane si de mode,
Pe cind inima ta bate-n ritmul sfint al unei ode...
Cind vezi piatra ce nu simte nici durerea si nici mila -
De ai inima si minte - feri in laturi, e Dalila !


(Publicata postum , 1890 , 1 februarie )
Transpusa electronic de: Florina Ionescu

Mihail Eminescu


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