Epilogue

The sun, less fierce, shines bright in a thinner sky.
Rocked by a lulling autumn breeze,
The garden rosebushes bend rhythmically.
The air around is full of a sister’s kisses.

For the time being, Nature has left her throne
Of irony, serenity and splendor:
Toward her perverse, rebellious subject, man,
She descends mild through the fullness of yellow air.

With the hem of her cloak spotted by the abyss,
She deigns to wipe the sweat from our brow,
And her immortal form, her soul’s eternities,
Give our slack hasty hearts calm and strength too.

The ancient branches, their cool swaying,
The widened horizon full of indistinct
Song, even the joyous flights of birds and clouds, everything
Today consoles and sets free.—Let us think.

Paul Verlaine

marine

The sounding ocean
Throbs beneath the eye
Of the moon veiled darkly
And throbs again,

While a violent sinister
Lightning bolt,
Its long zigzag brilliant,
Slits a sky of bister,

And each wave,
In convulsive bounds,
Goes, comes, shouts, glistens,
The length of reefs,

And in the sky
Where the tempest ranges,
The thunder roars
Terrifyingly.

Paul Verlaine

soleils couchants

Spilled through the meadow by
An enfeebled dawn,
The melancholy
Of setting suns.
Melancholy
Rocks my heart to oblivion
With sweet melody
Amid setting suns.
And strange dreams
Like suns, setting,
Ruddy phantoms
Over shores, passing
Unceasingly, passing like some
Huge suns, like them
Over shores, setting.

Paul Verlaine

nevermore

Memory, memory, what do you want from me? I remember
Autumn made the thrush fly through the lifeless air,
And the sun launched a monotonous ray where
The north wind exploded in a wood growing yellower.

We were alone together and, dreaming, wandered,
She and I, our hair and our thoughts in the wind.
Suddenly, her gaze full of feeling, she turned:
“What was your happiest day?” Her gold voice, livened,

Her soft resonant voice, cool timbre of an angel.
My reply was a reserved smile,
And devoutly I kissed her white hand.

—Ah, the first flowers and their perfume!
And the murmuring spell of the sound,
The first yes from those lips when you so love them!

Paul Verlaine