Bless this little heart, this white soul that has
won the kiss of heaven for our earth.

He loves the light of the sun,
he loves the sight of his mother's face.

He has not learned to despise the dust,
and to hanker after gold.

Clasp him to your heart and bless him.
He has come into this land of an hundred crossroads.

I know not how he chose you from the crowd,
came to your door, and grasped your hand
to ask his way.

He will follow you, laughing and talking,
and not a doubt in his heart.

Keep his trust, lead him straight and bless him.

Lay your hand on his head, and pray
that though the waves underneath grow threatening,
yet the breath from above may come and
fill his sails and
waft him to the heaven of peace.

- Rabindranath Tagore
from The Crescent Moon

Bénédiction
from Les Fleurs du Mal
by Charles Baudelaire

Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes,
When, by decree of the supreme power,
Le Poète apparaît en ce monde ennuyé,
The Poet appears in this annoyed world,
Sa mère épouvantée et pleine de blasphèmes
His mother, blasphemous out of horror
Crispe ses poings vers Dieu, qui la prend en pitié:
At God's pity, cries out with fists curled:

- « Ah ! que n'ai-je mis bas tout un noeud de vipères,
"Ah! I'd rather You'd will me a snake's skin
Plutôt que de nourrir cette dérision!
Than to keep feeding this monstrous slur!
Maudite soit la nuit aux plaisirs éphémères
I curse that night's ephemera are sins
Où mon ventre a conçu mon expiation!
To make my womb atone for pleasure.

Puisque tu m'as choisie entre toutes les femmes
"Since You have chosen me from all the brides
Pour être le dégoût de mon triste mari,
To bear the disgust of my dolorous groom
Et que je ne puis pas rejeter dans les flammes,
And since I can't throw back into the fires
Comme un billet d'amour, ce monstre rabougri,
Like an old love letter this gaunt buffoon

Je ferai rejaillir ta haine qui m'accable
"I'll replace your hate that overwhelms me
Sur l'instrument maudit de tes méchancetés,
On the instrument of Your wicked gloom
Et je tordrai si bien cet arbre misérable
And torture so well this miserable tree
Qu'il ne pourra pousser ses boutons empestés! »
Its pestiferous buds will never bloom!"

Elle ravale ainsi l'écume de sa haine,
She chokes down the eucharist of venom,
Et, ne comprenant pas les desseins éternels,
Not comprehending eternal designs,
Elle-même prépare au fond de la Géhenne
She prepares a Gehenna of her own,
Les bûchers consacrés aux crimes maternels.
And consecrates a pyre of maternal crimes.

Pourtant, sous la tutelle invisible d'un Ange,
Yet, watched by an invisible seraph,
L'Enfant déshérité s'enivre de soleil,
The disinherited child is drunk on the sun
Et dans tout ce qu'il boit et dans tout ce qu'il mange
And in all he devours and in all he quaffs
Retrouve l'ambroisie et le nectar vermeil.
Receives ambrosia, nectar and honey.

Il joue avec le vent, cause avec le nuage,
He plays with the wind, chats with the vapors,
Et s'enivre en chantant du chemin de la croix;
Deliriously sings the stations of the cross;
Et l'Esprit qui le suit dans son pèlerinage
And the Spirit who follows him in his capers
Pleure de le voir gai comme un oiseau des bois.
Cries at his joy like a bird in the forest.

Tous ceux qu'il veut aimer l'observent avec crainte,
Those whom he longs to love look with disdain
Ou bien, s'enhardissant de sa tranquillité,
And dread, strengthened by his tranquillity,
Cherchent à qui saura lui tirer une plainte,
They seek to make him complain of his pain
Et font sur lui l'essai de leur férocité.
So they may try out their ferocity.

Dans le pain et le vin destinés à sa bouche
In the bread and wine destined for his lips,
Ils mêlent de la cendre avec d'impurs crachats;
They mix in cinders and spit with their wrath,
Avec hypocrisie ils jettent ce qu'il touche,
And throw out all he touches as he grasps it,
Et s'accusent d'avoir mis leurs pieds dans ses pas.
And accuse him of putting his feet in their path.

Sa femme va criant sur les places publiques:
His wife cries out so that everyone hears:
« Puisqu'il me trouve assez belle pour m'adorer,
"Since he finds me good enough to adore
Je ferai le métier des idoles antiques,
I'll weave as the idols of ancient years
Et comme elles je veux me faire redorer;
A corona of gold as a cover.

Et je me soûlerai de nard, d'encens, de myrrhe,
"I'll get drunk on nard, incense and myrrh,
De génuflexions, de viandes et de vins,
Get down on bent knee with meats and wines
Pour savoir si je puis dans un coeur qui m'admire
To see if in a heart that admires,
Usurper en riant les hommages divins!
My smile denies deference to the divine.

Et, quand je m'ennuierai de ces farces impies,
"And, when I tire of these impious farces,
Je poserai sur lui ma frêle et forte main;
I'll arrange for him my frail and hard nails
Et mes ongles, pareils aux ongles des harpies,
Sharpened just like the claws of a harpy
Sauront jusqu'à son coeur se frayer un chemin.
That out of his heart will carve a trail.

Comme un tout jeune oiseau qui tremble et qui palpite,
"Like a baby bird trembling in the nest
J'arracherai ce coeur tout rouge de son sein,
I'll dig out his heart all red from my breast
Et, pour rassasier ma bête favorite,
To slake the thirst of my favorite pet,
Je le lui jetterai par terre avec dédain ! »
And will throw it on the ground with contempt!"

Vers le Ciel, où son oeil voit un trône splendide,
Toward the sky, where he sees a great host,
Le Poète serein lève ses bras pieux,
The poet, serene, lifts his pious arms high
Et les vastes éclairs de son esprit lucide
And the vast lightning of his lucid ghost
Lui dérobent l'aspect des peuples furieux:
Blinds him to the furious people nearby:

- « Soyez béni, mon Dieu, qui donnez la souffrance
"Glory to God, who leaves us to suffer
Comme un divin remède à nos impuretés
To cure us of all our impurities
Et comme la meilleure et la plus pure essence
And like the best, most rarefied buffer
Qui prépare les forts aux saintes voluptés !
Prepares the strong for a saint's ecstasies!

Je sais que vous gardez une place au Poète
"I know that You hold a place for the Poet
Dans les rangs bienheureux des saintes Légions,
In the ranks of the blessed and the saint's legions,
Et que vous l'invitez à l'éternelle fête
That You invite him to an eternal fete
Des Trônes, des Vertus, des Dominations.
Of thrones, of virtues, of dominations.

Je sais que la douleur est la noblesse unique
"I know only sorrow is unequaled,
Où ne mordront jamais la terre et les enfers,
It cannot be encroached on from Hell or Earth
Et qu'il faut pour tresser ma couronne mystique
And if I am to braid my mystic wreath,
Imposer tous les temps et tous les univers.
May I impose it on the universe.

Mais les bijoux perdus de l'antique Palmyre,
"But the ancient jewels of lost Palmyra,
Les métaux inconnus, les perles de la mer,
The unknown metals, pearls from the ocean
Par votre main montés, ne pourraient pas suffire
By Your hand mounted, they do not suffice,
A ce beau diadème éblouissant et clair;
They cannot dazzle as clearly as this crown

Car il ne sera fait que de pure lumière,
"For it will not be made except from halos
Puisée au foyer saint des rayons primitifs,
Drawn of pure light in a holy portal
Et dont les yeux mortels, dans leur splendeur entière,
Whose entire splendor, in the eyes of mortals
Ne sont que des miroirs obscurcis et plaintifs ! »
Is only a mirror, obscure and mournful."

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CST Approved

Also the name of an Irish blessing made into a song. My high school choir sang it at the end of every spring concert.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your feilds
And until we meet again
Until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

It has a hauntingly beautiful melody and was a great way to end the year!

Ben`e*dic"tion (?), n. [L. benedictio: cf. F. b'en'ediction. See Benison.]

1.

The act of blessing.

2.

A blessing; an expression of blessing, prayer, or kind wishes in favor of any person or thing; a solemn or affectionate invocation of happiness.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus Followed with benediction. Milton.

Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her. Longfellow.

Specifically:

The short prayer which closes public worship; as, to give the benediction.

3. Eccl.

The form of instituting an abbot, answering to the consecration of a bishop.

Ayliffe.

4. R. C. Ch.

A solemn rite by which bells, banners, candles, etc., are blessed with holy water, and formally dedicated to God.

 

© Webster 1913.

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