J’Arrive by Jacques Brel: English Translation

Below is my poetic translation of J’Arrive by Jacques Brel…

From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
All of my friends are now departing.
From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
Death’s just a footnote my Dulcinea.
From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
Other flowers may try in vain.
From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
Men can cry but women rain.

I’m here! I came!
But really would have liked just one more time
Just to drag my bones towards the sunlight
To tomorrow, to spring.
I’m here, I arrived!
But really would have liked just one more time
Just to see if the river’s still flowing
And the port’s just a port,
To see myself once more.
I’m here, I came,
But why my, why now, why today?
Why am I still alive?
I’m here, and of course I’ve arrived;
I never seem to be able to do anything
But arrive.

From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
Each time even more alone.
From chrysanthemums, to chrysanthemums,
Every time the numbers grow.

But I’m here! I came!
But what I really would have liked
Was some more time to take a lover
Like you take your train
To be alone, to be anywhere, to be content.
I’m here, I arrived,
But I guess I really would have liked
Just one more time to fill a body
With starlight and trembles, falling like ashes,
Burned from love, I’m here.
I came, I arrived,
And don’t you think that you’re so great;
You’re not ahead of me – I guess I’m the one who’s just late
I’m here, I arrived,
I never seem to be able to do anything in my life,
But arrive.

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