Les Conquerants

Original Text: 

Representative French Poetry, ed. Victor E. Graham, 2nd edn. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965): 93. From Les Trophées, 1893 (Le Moyen Age et la Renaissance: Les Conquérants).

2Fatigués de porter leurs misères hautaines,
4Partaient, ivres d'un rêve héroïque et brutal.
5Ils allaient conquérir le fabuleux métal
7Et les vents alizés inclinaient leurs antennes
8Aux bords mystérieux du monde Occidental.
9Chaque soir, espérant des lendemains épiques,
10L'azur phosphorescent de la mer des Tropiques
11Enchantait leur sommeil d'un mirage doré;
13Ils regardaient monter en un ciel ignoré
14Du fond de l'Océan des étoiles nouvelles.

Notes

1] charnier because it is full of bones. Back to Line
3] Palos de Moguer: the port in Andalusia from which Columbus sailed in 1492.
routiers: soldiers of fortune. Back to Line
6] Cipango: Japan. According to alchemical theory, gold was formed when base elements were transmuted after a long process involving the steady application of slow heat. Back to Line
12] caravelles: three-masted sailing vessels with high prows and poops. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 

This sonnet was first published in <i>Sonnets et Eaux-fortes</i>, 1868. The title is
a direct translation of the Spanish <i>Conquistadores</i>.
 

RPO poem Editors: 
Victor E. Graham
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Special Copyright: 

Second edition copyright © 1965 University of Toronto Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, from which written permission must be obtained for any other edition or other means of reproduction.