Monsalvat: the Parsifal home page | Verlaine's Parsifal

Paul Verlaine's Poem Parsifal

First published in the Revue Wagnérienne of 8th January 1886

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Jean Delville, 1882

Parsifal a vaincu les Filles, leur gentil
Babil et la luxure amusante - et sa pente
Vers la Chair de garçon vierge que cela tente
D'aimer les seins légers et ce gentil babil;

Il vaincu la Femme belle, au cœur subtil,
Étalant ses bras frais et sa gorge excitante;
Il a vaincu l'Enfer et rentre sous sa tente
Avec un lourd trophée à son bras puéril,

Avec la lance qui perça le Flanc suprême!
Il a guéri le roi, le voici roi lui-même,
Et prêtre du très saint Trésor essentiel.

En robe d'or il adore, gloire et symbole,
Le vase pur où resplendit le Sang réel.
- Et, ô ces voix d'enfants chantant dans la coupole!

Parsifal has overcome the gently babbling daughters
Who'd distract him to desire; despite fleshly delight
That might lure the virgin youth, the temptation
To love their swelling breasts and gentle babble;

He has vanquished fair Womankind, of subtle heart,
Her tender arms outstretched and her throat pale;
From harrowing Hell, he now returns triumphant,
Bearing a heavy trophy in his boyish hands,

With the spear that pierced the Saviour's side!
He who healed the King shall be himself enthroned,
As priest-king and guardian of the sacred treasure.

In golden robe he worships that sign of grace,
The pure vessel in which shines the Holy Blood.
- And, o those children's voices singing in the dome!

Jean Delville, 1882

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