Henry Bataille (Nîmes 1872 – Rueil-Malmaison, 1922)
A poet and a playwright. Buried at the cemetery of Moux, in a Renaissance fountain-shaped tomb: “Yes, I have lived with the idea of death for a long time. I have considered the world which surrounds me to be a burning fire which will go out eventually. This certainty has not disappeared with the regained certainty that I am still alive. I know that all this, which surrounds me, will perish. What is ill, is not in me, but in the world to which I belong, which turns and drags me along. And it is this world which will disappear. And that is the tragedy I am expressing, and that tragedy is my theatre and my life.”
Il y a de grands soirs où les villages meurentAprès que les pigeons sont rentrés se coucherIls meurent doucement, avec de bruit de l’heureEt le cri bleu des hirondelles au clocher.Alors, pour les veiller, des lumières s’allument,Vieilles petites lumières de bonnes sœurs,Et les lanternes passent, là-bas, dans la brumeAu loin le chemin gris chemine avec douceur........Les fleurs dans les jardins se sont pelotonnéesPour écouter mourir leur village d’antan,Car elles savent que c’est là qu’elles sont néesPuis les lumières s’éteignent, cependantQue les vieux murs habituels ont rendu l’âme,Tout doux, tout bonnement, comme de vieilles femmes.There are those intense evenings when villages dieAfter the pigeons have returned home to restThey die slow deaths, with the sound of the hour that chimesAnd the blue call of the swallows in the bell-tower.Therefore, to watch over them, lights are being lit,Ancient and feeble lights like those in the hands of nuns,And the lanterns go by, far off, in the mistIn the distance, the grey path gently makes its way...The flowers in the gardens have snuggled upAnd listen to the dying breath of their ancient village,For they know that it is there that they were born,Then the lights go out, whileThe old familiar walls have passed away,Gently, quite simply, just like old women.