Excuse

written by Charles Cros

Excuse

— Charles Cros

Aux arbres il faut un ciel clair,
L’espace, le soleil et l’air,
L’eau dont leur feuillage se mouille.
Il faut le calme en la forêt,
La nuit, le vent tiède et discret
Au rossignol, pour qu’il gazouille.

Il te faut, dans les soirs joyeux,
Le triomphe ; il te faut des yeux
Eblouis de ta beauté fière.
Au chercheur d’idéal il faut
Des âmes lui faisant là-haut
Une sympathique atmosphère.

Mais quand mauvaise est la saison,
L’arbre perd fleurs et frondaison.
Son bois seul reste, noir et grêle.
Et sur cet arbre dépouillé,
L’oiseau, grelottant et mouillé,
Reste muet, tête sous l’aile.

Ainsi ta splendeur, sur le fond
Que les envieuses te font,
Perd son nonchaloir et sa grâce.
Chez les nuls, qui ne voient qu’hier,
Le poète, interdit et fier,
Rêvant l’art de demain, s’efface.

Arbres, oiseaux, femmes, rêveurs
Perdent dans les milieux railleurs
Feuillage, chant, beauté, puissance.
Dans la cohue où tu te plais,
Regarde-moi, regarde-les,
Et tu comprendras mon silence.

About the poet


Charles Cros

Charles Cros (October 1, 1842 – August 9, 1888) was a French poet and inventor. He was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35 km to the East of Carcassonne. Cros was a well-regarded poet and humorous writer. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph technology. In the early 1870s Cros had published with Mallarmé, Villiers and Verlaine in the short-lived weekly Renaissance littéraire et artistique, edited by Emile Blémont. His poem The Kippered Herring inspired Ernest Coquelin to create what he called monologues, short theatrical pieces whose format was copied by numerous imitators.The piece, translated as The Salt Herring, was translated and illustrated by Edward Gorey.

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