After Midnight

Poem By Charles Vildrac

IT is at morning twilight they expire;
Death takes in hand, when midnight sounds,
Millions of bodies in their beds,
And scarcely anybody thinks of it ...

O men and women, you
About to die at break of day,
I see your hands' uneasy multitude,
Which now the blood deserts for ever!

White people in the throes of death,
Wrestling in all the world to-night,
And whom the weeping dawn will silence,
Fearful I hear your gasping breath!

How many of you there are dying!
How can so many other folks be lying
Asleep upon the shore of your death-rattles!

... Here is noise in the house;
I am not the only one who hears you:
Someone has stepped about a room,
Someone has risen to watch over you ...

But no! It is a little song I hear.
If someone stepped about a room,
It was to go and rock a little child,
Who has been born this evening in the house.

translated by Jethro Bithell

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Other poems of VILDRAC


HOPING for nothing, to walk through the streets,
This is a better fate than men believe,
Because you can behold the passing by

And Yet

NO water has abiding dwelling-place
Within one feeble hollow of the earth,
Which with the sky is face to face.
Let the noon glow, and the wind blow,


AT the black foot of trellises, by almond-branches shaded,
At the heart of corbeils, at the breast of bowers,
And all along the loam of avenues,
Are fallen faded,


HERE, before me, the lamp, the paper;
And behind me this troubled day
Passed in myself

An Inn

IT is an inn there is
At the cross-roads of Chétives-Maisons,
In the land where it is always cold.