Vigils

I.
It is a repose in the light,
neither fever nor languor,
on a bed or on a meadow.
It is the friend neither violent nor weak.
The friend.
It is the beloved neither
tormenting nor tormented.
The beloved.
Air and the world not sought.
Life. --Was it really this?
--And the dream grew cold.

II.
The lighting comes round
to the crown post again.
From the two extremities of the room
-- decorations negligible
-- harmonic elevations join.

The wall opposite the watcher
is a psychological succession
of atmospheric sections of friezes,
bands, and geological accidents.

Intense quick dream
of sentimental groups
with people of all possible characters
amidst all possible appearances.

III.
The lamps and the rugs
of the vigil make the noise
of waves in the night,
along the hull and around the steerage.

The sea of the vigil, like Emily's breasts.
The hangings, halfway up,
undergrowth of emerald tinted lace,
where dart the vigil doves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The plaque of the black hearth,
real suns of seashores! ah! magic wells;
only sight of dawn, this time.

by Arthur Rimbaud

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