i was sitting

I was sitting in a Third-Class carriage; an old priest
Took out his pipe and stuck his calm head,
With its pale hair, out of the window, into the wind.
Then this Christian, ignoring gibes and provocations,
Turned and asked me, vigour tinged with sadness,
If I could spare him some tobacco – seems
He’d once been head padre to some Royal or other
Sentenced yet again –
To lessen the boredom of a tunnel, dark vein
Opened to passengers, near Soissons, a town in Aisne.

Arthur Rimbaud

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