by Arthur Rimbaud
Problems put by, the inevitable descent of heaven
and the visit of memories and the assembly
of rhythms occupy the house,
the head and the world of the spirit. --
A horse scampers off on the suburban track,
and along the tilled fields and woodlands,
pervaded by the carbonic plague.
A miserable woman of drama, somewhere in the world,
sighs for improbable desertions.
Desperados pine for strife, drunkenness and wounds.
-- Little children stifle their maledictions along the rivers.
Let us resume our study to the noise of the consuming work
that is gathering and growing in the masses.
Man of ordinary constitution,
was not the flesh a fruit hanging in the orchard;
O child days; the body, a treasure to squander;
O to love, the peril or the power of Psyche?
The earth had slopes fertile in princes and in artists,
and lineage and race incited you to crimes and mournings:
the world, your fortune and your peril.
But now, that labor crowned,
you and your calculations,-- you and your impatiences--
are only your dance and your voice, not fixed and not forced,
although a reason for the double consequence
of invention and of success, -- in fraternal
and discreet humanity through an imageless universe;--
might and right reflect your dance and your voice,
appreciated only at present.
_Tewnty Years Old_
Instructive voices exiled... Physical candor bitterly quelled...
--Adagio.-- Ah! the infinite egotism of adolescence,
the studious optimism: how the world was full of flowers that summer!
Airs and forms dying... --A choir to calm impotence and absence!
A choir of glasses, of nocturnal melodies...
Quickly, indeed, the nerves take up the chase.
You are still at Anthony's temptation.
The antics of abated zeal,
the grimaces of childish pride, the collapse and the terror.
But you will set yourself at this labor:
all harmonic and architectural possibilities
will surge around your seat.
Perfect beings, never dreamed of,
will present themselves for your experiments.
The curiosity of ancient crowds
and idle wealth will meditatively draw near.
Your memory and your senses
will be simply the nourishment of your creative impulse.
As for the world, when you emerge, what will it have become?
In any case, nothing of what it seems at present.