Breaking down cultural barriers
Transposer une culture dans une autre par delà les barrières culturelles

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Daniel Varoujan - PAGAN CHANT

In the marble palace of the enchanted Dream,
Where star-studded chandeliers blaze, raining light,
I am a potentate of Eastern opulence tonight,                
And I have a throne, treasures, and fair-haired women,
On my settee, covered with many a leopard skin,  
My head resting on my wrist, and dazed with delight,       
Reclining, I gaze at a voluptuous Circassian maiden
Dancing in front of me, on the pearl-laden rug.
From her fragrant hair and body surges in waves
An endless sea of ecstasy, where I love to
swim.                                                                               
I have donned my majestic white garments
Woven with the opalescent tears of a thousand stars,
I have wound around my head my snow-white diadem,
Burdensome as my glory, versatile as my brilliance,
In my hand, weighed down with diamond rings,
I nudge the large glittering amber of my worry beads,
My silk handkerchief and my gold-embroidered slippers
Have fallen slipshod off my feet on the saffron-hued rug,
While at my side is placed, glowing, gurgling,
The massive goblet of wine which, as if by magic,
Shimmers in front of me like newly shed blood.
But my pupils, thirsty of carnal colors and shapes,
Euphoric like those of a prophet in pious prayer,
Have submerged deep into the soaring maelstrom
Of the dark-eyed, amber-hued Circassian maiden,
Who dances on, and keeps dancing on for me…
Her movements are often languid, her figure, similar
To a reed in the wind, a melody of aroma and spume,           
She sometimes taps her feet with such fervor,
She becomes a fierce flame, sputtering in a storm.
Oh, she is the magus of the mold and motion of flesh,
She is able to pour from myriad glances and swaying
Body, a flood of feminine lures and lustful longing,
Surging unbridled in front of me, like frothing seas.
And she dances, she dances, ensnared in a vortex,
As her brow sparkles with drops of pearly sweat,
Her sorcerer’s regal figure, veiled by her long tresses,
Shimmers disturbed like a willow’s image in a lagoon.
She leans way backward and then back to forward,
Turning from supple rosebush into solid poplar,
And, a stunning leap seems to shatter like crystal
and pulverize the spine beneath her splendid waist,
Then, with a faint amendment of her dispersed body,   
 She swiftly rearranges a resurgent harmony.
The pearl-studded slippers that fashion her feet
Seem hardly to pat the patterns on the carpet
And her singular flamboyance spawns a mighty storm
That sometimes douses and sometimes sets off
Blue flashes from the gems hanging from her ears,
And festive fireworks from all the jewels she wears.
And she dances, she dances -- she dances in frenzy,
Ever compliant to the counsel of my depravity.
Impetuous, she discards overhead her gossamer veil,
Laying bare both her breasts and her swan neck,
As well as her blessed belly and her sealed navel,
As stand exposed her stout thighs and all covert parts --
All the mysteries of the flesh and its awkward forms
That the ultimate effort of the Creator has fashioned.
When with her own eyes she sees her crystal nudity,   
She feels shame of the lavish display of her charms
And she gives a mighty shake to her storm-tossed hair
The wind of which rushes to put out the flicker
Of the diamond torches and the ceiling lights of resin
Of that marble palace of the enchanted Dream.
Oh, magnificent nudity! Nymph of pubescent chastity,   
Missing like a mystery in the depths of darkness…
Then, I bound, parched with the thirst of my passions,
And let my hoary diadem fall and dissipate at my feet.
Groping my way in the darkness, I find the Circassian,
Guided by the throbbing breath of her sublime chest.
Then, seizing her sweat covered wrist, I set her
Upon my settee, covered with many a leopard skin.
Oh, that lovely, tender body, radiating with light, 
Spuming in my arms like milk and like blood!
Oh, those surging tresses, in which I sink and swim,
Always facing the danger of drowning in their waves!
Oh, the ardent heat of those mother-of-pearl arms
With which she encircles tight my neck, like a snake!
Finally, we become one in the embrace of an intense kiss,
As I suck, holding her crimson lips captive in my mouth,
And I drain her veins for hours, without haste,
Only then, it seems to me, I would have, at my pace,
Tasted the entire breadth of delights of pagan times --
The spices of India, and all the incense of Arabia.
                                                                                                      ……

Daniel Varoujan

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

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