13 September, 2008

René - Translation

I apologize in advance for any mistakes in translating - I'm still quite new to this. Never a bad idea to practice though! You can definitely get the idea here at least.

"The absolute solitude, the spectacles of nature soon plunged me into a state nearly impossible to describe. Without relations, without friends, alone, so to speak, on the earth, having no loved ones, I was overwhelmed by a superabundance of life. Sometimes I would suddenly blush, and I felt the colour of streams of boiling lava in my heart; sometimes I uttered involuntary cries, and the night was as troubled in my dreams as in my sleepless moments. I lacked something to fill the abyss of my existence; I descended into a valley, I climbed the mountain, calling with all the force of my desires the ideal object of a future brightness; I embraced it in the winds, I would believe I heard it in the laments of the river; all was this imaginary phantom, even the stars in the heavens and the principle of life in the universe.

"Nonetheless, this state of calm and trouble, of poverty and richness, was not without some charms: one day I amused myself by stripping the leaves off a branch of a stream-side willow, and attaching an idea to each leaf that the current carried off. A king who feared to lose his crown through a sudden revolution would not feel distress as vivid as mine at each accident that threatened the debris of my branch. O feebleness of mortals! o childhood of the human heart, which never grows up! See then to what degree of puerility our superb reason can descend! And is it not true that many men attach their destiny to things of as little value as my willow leaves?

"But how to express this multitude of fleeting sensations that I experienced on my walks? The sounds that the passions emit in a solitary heart resemble the murmure that the winds and waters make in the silence of a desert: one feels them, but one cannot describe them."

I'd welcome suggestions about the last lines in the 1st and 3rd paragraph.

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