((In what guises does a cross appear! a constellation
Takes its shape in the southern heart of the heavens;
Speaking figuratively, we all have one to bear;
When a deserved success achieved by another
Earns the praise of one of those jealous people
Who is being made old by ill-tempered grumblings -
Their clouded minds lacking any innate flame -
His acquaintances make one in the fireplace;
Without fail, once a year - during Lent -
(((At least for the short period that he takes part in the ritual of sackcloth
Because he believes in Hell and is terrified of ending up there)))
The Christian makes one on his forehead in ashes;
When deliberately (((the prospect of an imminent meal
Quickens the step like nothing else;
As a carriage steers towards the hay-rack,
The horses paw the air without being touched by the whip,
As though descended from thoroughbreds;)))
One arrives at a restaurant at a moment when the rest
Are seated at their assigned places with hearty appetites,
Often, through the glass of the door, next to an oven,
One sees, forming the shape of a cross,
Two knives, clicking as they are sharpened by a carver;))

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If mankind, when building, used only transparent material
(This is by way of a friendly interlude cutting short a recitation,
An absent-minded note, to keep you awake at night),
He would kill off more than one calumny
(And the sun, in short, would illuminate lessons!)
But to what extent would they continue, however, to hold sway!
Those amongst us, alas! who join in maintaining
(Although without doubt, even in its early days,
Ancient man never saw its back)
That the moon (that world where silence reigns,
Where no zephyr blows, where no volcano erupts,
A world of which we carry, at the base of the fingernail,
- Without any idea as to, such as it is, its use for us -
((But what use is the lake that tricks us in the desert
Making us hope for drink and fishing?
What use our shiver at the sight of the telegram
Whose seal we tear off trembling?))
A tentative reduced portrait of a likeness,
A decoration shown most clearly by the thumb,
That recalcitrant world where no seed grows,
Since nowhere upon it is the water required
- There there is no shipwrecked sailor praying on his raft
Nor land bearing the name Finistere -
For baptisms, for painting, or in which to take a bath;)
Is an eminently cowardly satellite.