Alphonse de Lamartine
When I was young and proud and opened my wings,
The wings of my soul to all the winds of the sea,
Sails carried my thoughts with them,
And my dreams floated over all the bitter waves.
I saw in this haze where the horizon drowns
All verdant vines and jasmine appearing,
Continents of life and islands of joy
Where fame and love came by to take my hand.
I envied every ship that blanched the foam,
Happily aspiring to the unknown coast,
And now, seated at the shore of the smoking cape,
I have crossed those waves and returned.
And I still love those seas that I so loved before,
No longer as the scene of my cherished dreams
But like a fertile death where my wings were sown,
Showing fragments of me everywhere.
This reef broke me, this shore proved fatal
My fortune foundered in that calm deceit;
The lightning fell upon me here from the celestial bow
And each of those waves turns my heart a little.