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Cheval was also a bit of a poet, and his writings are chiseled all over the tunnels, sculptures and facades of the palace. Here are a few, with some translations. There are literally hundreds. If you can read French, many are transcribed (but not translated) here.
In the evening after dark
When man is resting
I work on my palace
No one will ever know
How hard it was.
With the moments of leisure
My occupation gave me
I built this Arabian nights' palace
Where my memory is engraved.
In the tunnel: "In creating this rock, I wanted to prove what the will can do."
|| Also in the tunnel: "In searching I have found. Forty years I have carved to create this fairy tale palace. For my idea, my body braved everything -- the weather, the criticism, the years. Life is a quick steed. My thoughts will live on with this rock." The French version rhymes wonderfully and is below.
En cherchant, j'ai trouvé.
Quarante ans j'ai pioché,
Pour faire jaillir de terre
Ce palais de fées.
Pour mon idée, mon corps a tout bravé,
Le temps, la critique, les années.
La vie est un rapide coursier,
Ma pensée vivra avec ce rocher.
On the northeast corner, Cheval's timelog: 1872 - 1912 ... 10,000 days, 93,000 hours, 33 years...
It also says, on the top. Don't NOT Touch Anything!!
A poem in the tunnel that runs through the bottom of the palace interior. Across the very top you can see most of "La fin d'un reve" - "the end of a dream." The poem is transcribed below the close-up...
This is of art, of dreams, and of energy.
The ecstasy of a beautiful dream and the prize of effort.
In reality, you crave magic
And you show how one alone can be strong
The ages will come to this temple of life
And your grand gesture will outlive death
You will be happy in the noble pursuit
Far from the base hunger for the glory of gold
When we return to this palace of wonder
Lulled by the passage, we will lift the mighty weight
On each of the calluses that crease your hand
And before your labor of superb ideal
Everyone will bless you by offering a herb
Wherein lives the beauty of your grand journey.