Walter Raleigh


Give me my scallop shell of quiet

My staff of faith to walk upon

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation

My gown of glory, hope's true gage

And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.


Donne moi ma coquille de paix,

Mon bâton de foi pour marcher sur le chemin,

Ma besace d'allégresse, nourriture éternelle,

Ma gourde de salut

Ma robe de gloire, vrai témoin de l'espoir,

Et ainsi je commencerai mon pèlerinage.


  On trouve souvent, cités dans des travaux anglo-saxons, ces vers, écrits par Sir Walter Raleigh.

  Le poème a pour titre "Pèlerinage d'un homme qui va mourir". Raleigh parle de son pèlerinage à la mort, que d'ailleurs, il ne craint nullement.

  Les vers cités sont les six premières lignes de ce poème.


                                           THE PASSIONATE MAN'S PILGRIMAGE.


GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,

    My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

    My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope's true gage ;

And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.


Blood must be my body's balmer,

    No other balm will there be given ;

Whilst my soul, like a quiet palmer,

    Travelleth towards the land of heaven ;

Over the silver mountains,

Where spring the nectar fountains :

           There will I kiss

           The bowl of bliss ;

And drink mine everlasting fill

Upon every milken hill :

My soul will be a-dry before ;

But after, it will thirst no more.


Then by that happy blestful day,

    More peaceful pilgrims I shall see,

That have cast off their rags of clay,

    And walk apparelled fresh like me.

        I'll take them first

        To quench their thirst,

And taste of nectar suckets,

        At those clear wells

        Where sweetness dwells

Drawn up by saints in crystal buckets.


And when our bottles and all we

Are filled with immortality,

Then the blessed paths we'll travel,

Strowed with rubies thick as gravel ;

Ceilings of diamonds, sapphire floors,

High walls of coral, and pearly bowers.

From thence to heavens's bribeless hall,

Where no corrupted voices brawl ;

No conscience molten into gold,

No forged accuser bought or sold,

No cause deferred, nor vain-spent journey ;

For there Christ is the King's Attorney,

Who pleads for all without degrees,

And he hath angels, but no fees.

And when the grand twelve-million jury

Of our sins, with direful fury,

'Gainst our souls black verdicts give,

Christ pleads his death, and then we live.


Be thou my speaker, taintless pleader,

Unblotted lawyer, true proceeder !

Thou giv'st salvation even for alms ;

Not with a bribèd lawyer's palms.

And this is my eternal plea

To him that made heaven, earth, and sea,

That, since my flesh must die so soon,

And want a head to dine next noon,

Just at the stroke, when my veins start and spread,

Set on my soul an everlasting head.

Then am I ready, like a palmer fit ;

To tread those blest paths which before I writ.  


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