evening twilight

Here is pleasant evening, the criminal’s friend;
it comes stealthily like an accomplice with a wolf’s tread;
the sky closes slowly like a huge alcove,
and impatient man is changed to a wild beast.

O evening, sweet evening, longed for by the man
whose arms can say without deceit:
To-day we have worked! – It is evening
that relieves minds consumed by savage grief,
the scholar whose brow grows heavy
and the bent workman returning to his bed.
Meanwhile foul demons in the atmosphere
awaken heavily like business men and, flying,
knock against the shutters and the porch.

Through the lights flickering in the wind
Prostitution begins to flare in the streets;
like an ant-heap it opens its doors;
everywhere it traces a secret path
like an enemy attempting a surprise;
it moves in the bosom of the filthy city
like a worm stealing man’s food.
Here and there you can hear kitchens hiss,
theaters yelp and orchestras snore;
the cheap eating-houses, whose delight is gambling,
are filled with whores and sharks, their accomplices,
and the robbers, who know neither truce nor mercy,
they too are soon going to begin their work,
and gently force open doors and
coffers to live a few days and clothe their mistresses.

Recollect yourself, my soul, at this solemn moment,
and shut your ear to the roar.
It is the hour when the pains of the sick grow worse!
Dark Night takes them by the throat;
they end their life and go towards the common abyss;
the hospital is filled with their sighs. – More than one
will come no more to seek his fragrant soup,
in the evening, by the fireside beside a soul he loves.

Moreover, most of them have never known
home’s sweetness and have never lived!

Charles Baudelaire

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clearness

There’s no moon—
last night, I came here
driving a horse.

Ranran

barbarina’s song

Handsome knight going to the war,
what will you do
so far from here?
Do you not see that the night is deep
and that the world
brings only trouble?

You who think that an abandoned love
disappears from the mind so, alas! alas!
Seekers of fame,
your smoke too
flies away.

Handsome knight going to the war,
what will you do
so far from us?
I shall weep for it, I who let myself be told
that my smile was
so sweet.

Alfred de Musset

an alley in the Luxembourg Gardens

The young girl passed by
as lively and quick as a bird:
in her hand a shining flower,
in her mouth a new song.

She is, perhaps the only one in the world
whose heart would answer mine,
who coming into my deep night,
would light it up with a single glance.

But no, – my youth is over…
Farewell, sweet beam that shone on me, –
perfume, young girl, melody…
Happiness passed by, – it has fled!

Gérard de Nerval

spring

The lotus pond is bristling with pink buds;
the nights grow shorter while the empyrean’s gem,
its cloak of frost unloosed, grows bold.
Now come the days resounding with the cuckoo
and sweet with mango scent
to cut the hearts of ladies separated from their lovers.

Samghasri

sirens

Sirens, do I not share your discontent
When in the night you far and wide lament?
Sea, I’m like you: machined cries fill my ears.
My vessels sing. They call themselves the years.

Guillaume Apollinaire

the dream

Then night brought the dark over the earth. Sailors
on the sea looked out from their ships to Orion
and the Bear. Both the traveler out there on the road
and the gatekeeper by this time were longing for sleep.
And a heavy slumber enclosed all around that woman
whose children had died, nor was there any dog barking
through the town, nor the echoing voices of men.
Silence held the black darkness…

Apollonius