Friday, March 12, 2010

Since Shade Relents


The wind the other night blew down the Love
That in the dimmest corner of the park
So subtly used to smile, bending his arc,
And sight of whom did us so deeply move

One day! The other night's wind blew him down!
The marble dust whirls in the morning breeze.
Oh, sad to view, o'erblotted by the trees,
There on the base, the name of great renown!

Oh, sad to view the empty pedestal!
And melancholy fancies come and go
Across my dream, whereon a day of woe
Foreshadowed is--I know what will befall!

Oh, sad!--And you are saddened also, Sweet,
Are not you, by this scene? although your eye
Pursues the gold and purple butterfly
That flutters o'er the wreck strewn at our feet.

P. Verlaine


In the deserted park, silent and vast,
Erewhile two shadowy glimmering figures passed.

Their lips were colorless, and dead their eyes;
Their words were scarce more audible than sighs.

In the deserted park, silent and vast,
Two spectres conjured up the buried past.

"Our ancient ecstasy, do you recall?"
"Why, pray, should I remember it at all?"

"Does still your heart at mention of me glow?
Do still you see my soul in slumber?" "No!"

"Ah, blessed, blissful days when our lips met!
You loved me so!" "Quite likely,--I forget."

"How sweet was hope, the sky how blue and fair!"
"The sky grew black, the hope became despair."

Thus walked they 'mid the frozen weeds, these dead,
And Night alone o'erheard the things they said.

P. Verlaine


Since shade relents, since 'tis indeed the day,
Since hope I long had deemed forever flown,
Wings back to me that call on her and pray,
Since so much joy consents to be my own,--

The dark designs all I relinquish here,
And all the evil dreams. Ah, done am I
Above all with the narrowed lips, the sneer,
The heartless wit that laughed where one should sigh.

Away, clenched fist and bosom's angry swell,
That knave and fool at every turn abound.
Away, hard unforgivingness! Farewell,
Oblivion in a hated brewage found!

For I mean, now a Being of the Morn
Has shed across my night excelling rays
Of love at once immortal and newborn,--
By favor of her smile, her glance, her grace,

I mean by you upheld, O gentle hand,
Wherein mine trembles,--led, sweet eyes, by you,
To walk straight, lie the path o'er mossy land
Or barren waste that rocks and pebbles strew.

Yes, calm I mean to walk through life, and straight,
Patient of all, unanxious of the goal,
Void of all envy, violence, or hate
It shall be duty done with cheerful soul.

And as I may, to lighten the long way,
Go singing airs ingenuous and brave,
She'll listen to me graciously, I say,--
And, verily, no other heaven I crave.

P. Verlaine

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