(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891 / Charleville, Ardennes)


A winding movement on the slope beside the rapids of the river.
The abyss at the stern,
The swiftness of the incline,
The overwhelming passage of the tide,
With extraordinary lights and chemical wonders
Lead on the travelers
Through the windspouts of the valley
And the whirlpool.
These are the conquerors of the world,
Seeking their personal chemical fortune;
Sport and comfort accompany them;
They bring education for races, for classes, for animals
Within this vessel, rest adn vertigo
In diluvian light,
In terrible evenings of study.

For in this conversation in the midst of machines,
Of blood, of flowers, of fire, of jewels,
In busy calculations on this fugitive deck,
Is their stock of studies visible
- Rolling like dike beyond
The hydraulic propulsive road,
Monstrous, endlessly lighting its way -
Themselves driven into harmonic ecstasy
And the heroism of discovery.

Amid the most amazing accidents,
Two youths stand out alone upon the ark
- Can one excuse past savagery? -
And sing, upon their watch.

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