The Vigil by the Fireside
This closed and preserved land has shaped beings in one piece, indomitable,
Irreducible, steeped in pride, but so human, so close to this incredible nature,
These men and women catalyze the essence of these stoic villages,
Hard country where our ancestors knew more misery than daily bread.
When the meal was over, the elder checked that there was no more soup left in the pot,
If there was a ladleful left, he served it on his plate and he made a chabrot,
In the plate-cap, he poured red wine which he swallowed in a single gulp,
Then everyone went back to their place by the fireside for the evening.
Jépou was a wise man where in his eyes could be read the serenity of happy people,
With his wrinkled, sun-tanned face, soft but vigorous,
Humble among the humble he radiated, he who had never left his village,
A nest of gray stones, on a wooded false flat and a pinch of outdated slates.
Time momentarily stopped flowed again when Jépou told his memories,
Under the tripous hanging from the beam, soaked in the smoke from the chimney,
Orphan of father he had to catch the scythe and stick to the earth without any other future,
From dawn to night work devoured everything, money was used to buy, sugar and tobacco coffee.
Before the big heat, the men drew windrows in the tall grasses,
They stopped at regular intervals to restore bite to the edge of the blade,
The grass, once dried, in big bundles, on the back was carried,
Then piled into barns scattered on the mountainside, soulless.
But the great passion of the Jépou was hunting learned with the grandfather, very early,
To make snares placed on the branches of a mountain ash, thrush traps,
Young peasant he climbed to the ridges, pulled the hare and tracked the partridges,
In the woods, he watched the capercaillie where he surprised the wild boar adrift.
When the cows left the barn, Jépou learned woodworking for fun,
In boxwood or hawthorn, walnut or apple tree, he sculpted small objects
Then he went down to the city to place his production for informed amateurs,
Grandfather's felt-tip pierced with a jay feather, still rolling his gray tobacco.
With his friends in winter, he sang or chattered, the women spinning wool or knitting,
He played cards or told nonsense about people,
While sharing a piece of millas with mulled wine in joy,
In the cantou the flame made the notes sing on the crackling wood.
And the evenings when the Jépou was not happy, after the Milodiou de Milodiou,
and Macarel de macarel he launched to the crowd:
que se nanen caga a la bigno, picha al soulhel, é qué we turn the claou
é the paraplejo, n'aben bésoun abèï....toumbou calcarés!
Let them go cack in the vineyard, piss in the sun and bring us back the key and the
umbrella, we need it today, stones are falling !