the breeze

This cozy cotton bower conceals
Zephyr wrapped in sweet perfume;
In a silk and woolen womb,
Zephyr sleeps with laughing heels.

When the Zephyr lifts his wing
In his cotton-down retreat,
When he flies where robins sing,
His soft breath smells so sweet!

O quintessential breeze!
O distillate of love!
Day’s dew as it dries
Perfumes the sky above!

Jesus! Joseph! Jesus! Mary!
This odor, like a condor’s wing,
Cradles the devotionary …
It sweetens us and makes us sing!

Arthur Rimbaud

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

dream in wintertime

All winter we’ll wander in a red wagon
With cushions of blue.
Nice and warm. With a nest of creepy kisses
Just for us two.

You shut your eyes and won’t look out the window
Where shadows lurk:
Hordes of black wolves and black demons and nightmares
Inhabit the dark.

And then in panic suddenly you feel
A little kiss, like a scared spider, crawl
Across your cheek …

You turn to me to help you find the beast,
And of course I promise to do my best,
If it takes all week …

Arthur Rimbaud

winter dream

To *** Her

In Winter, we’ll travel in a small pink coach
With blue cushions,
Well installed, mad kisses nesting
In cosy corners.

You’ll close your eyes, not to see through the glass
The leer of dark evening,
Snarling monster, droves of black demons,
Packs of black wolves.

Then you’ll feel something scratch against your cheek…
A little kiss, brief as a startled spider,
Will run up your neck…

You’ll bow your head and say: ‘Find it for me!’
–And we’ll take the time it takes to find that creature
–Which loves to travel…

Arthur Rimbaud

the sideboard

It is a high, carved sideboard made of oak.
The dark old wood, like old folks, seems kind;
Its drawers are open, and its odors soak
The darkness with the scent of strong old wine.

Its drawers are full, a final resting place
For scented, yellowed linens, scraps of clothes
For wives or children, worn and faded bows,
Grandmothers’ collars made of figured lace;

There you will find old medals, locks of gray
Or yellow hair, and portraits, and a dried bouquet
Whose perfume mingles with the smell of fruit.

– O sideboard of old, you know a great deal more
And could tell us your tales, yet you stand mute
As we slowly open your old dark door.

Arthur Rimbaud

the breeze

This cozy cotton bower conceals
Zephyr wrapped in sweet perfume;
In a silk and woolen womb,
Zephyr sleeps with laughing heels.

When the Zephyr lifts his wing
In his cotton -down retreat,
When he flies where robins sing,
His soft breath smells so sweet!

O quintessential breeze!
O distillate of love!
Day’s dew as it dries
Perfumes the sky above!

Jesus! Joseph! Jesus! Mary!
This odor, like a condor’s wing,
Cradles the devotionary…
It sweetens us and makes us sing!

Arthur Rimbaud