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Two Poems


Malines

Over the fields, the wind worries
Weathervanes, ornaments of a worthy's
Garish chateau—blood red
Brickwork, slate blue tiles—over
The endlessness, the shining fields ...

Like trees in a fairy tale, ash trees
Undulate in billowing clouds of
Foliage, bright echelons, innumerable
Saharas of white landscape hovering
Above meadows of white clover.

In absolute silence the little train
Winds its way across Eden.
Cattle dream the dreams of cattle.
The sweet bullock of eternity
Grazes in midair.

The little train winds on.
Every car is a parlor car,
And the people speak in whispers,
Loving it, the Sunday school slow
Heaven here on earth.

                                 August 1872
 

Green

There's fruit and flowers, leaves and branches,
And then there's my heart—it belongs to you.
Don't tear it apart, it belongs to you.
Watch over it, keep it safe in your hands.

Here I stand, with the dew of the morning
Frozen to my face by the morning wind.
Lay me down at your little feet.
Lay me down into sweet memory.

Nuzzle me into your young breast
Like the last time, roll my head around.
Then let me rest a little. Let me
Sleep a little, as you are sleeping now.

    (Text of the poems in the original French)


Paul Verlaine

Songs without Words
Omnidawn Publishing


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