When the world will be
reduced to one mere dark forest for our two astonished
eyesto a beach for two loyal childrento a musical
house for our bright sympathyI will find you.
Let there be on earth but one old man, calm and fine, surrounded
by an "unheard-of luxury"and I am at your knees.
Let me have realized all your recollectionslet me be she
who can garrote youI will smother you.
When we are quite strongwho recoils?
quite gaywho drops with ridicule? When we are quite bad,
what might they do with us?
Deck yourself, dance, laugh. I will never be able to throw Love
out the window.
My comrade, beggargirl,
monstrous child! how it's all the same to you, these wretched
women and these maneuvers, and my embarrassments. Ally yourself to
us with your impossible voice, your voice! only flatterer of this
An overcast morning, in July. An ashen taste flies in the
airan odor of oozing wood in the hearthflowers
berettedhavoc in the promenadescanal mizzle in the
fieldswhy not already toys and incense?
* * *
I have strung ropes from belfry to belfry;
garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star,
and I dance.
* * *
The tarn steams continuously. What
sorceress will rise up against the white sunset? What violet
* * *
While public funds flow in feasts of
brotherhood, a bell of pink fire rings in the clouds.
* * *
Arousing an agreeable taste for India ink,
a black powder rains softly on my vigilI lower the flames
of the lustre, I hurl myself on my bed, and, turned toward the
darkness, I see you, my daughters! my queens!
O that hot February morning. The
inopportune South came to relieve our memories of absurd
indigence, our young misery.
Henrika had on a cotton skirt with brown and white checks, which
must have been worn in the last century, a ribbon bonnet and a
silk scarf. It was much sadder than mourning. We were going round
the suburb. The weather was overcast, and the South wind excited
all the nasty odors of the ravaged gardens and the desiccated
That must not have wearied my wife to the same extent as me. In a
puddle left by the inundation of the previous month on a rather
high path she drew my attention to very small fish.
The city, with its smoke and trade noises, followed us very far
in the roads. O the other world, the habitation blessed by
heaven, and the shades! The South recalled to me the miserable
incidents of my childhood, my summer despairs, the horrible
quantity of strength and science that fate has always kept from
me. No! we shall not pass summer in this greedy country where we
shall always be only engaged orphans. I want this hardened arm to
drag no more a dear image.
Skies crystal gray. A bizarre design
of bridges, some straight, some humped, others descending or
obliquing on corners of the first; and these figures repeating in
the other lighted circuits of the canal, but all so long and
light that the banks, laden with domes, drop and diminish. A few
of these bridges are already laden with ramshackle houses. Others
support masts, signals, frail parapets. Minor chords cross, and
go off; ropes climb the riverbanks. You make out a red jacket,
perhaps other costumes and musical instruments. Are these popular
tunes, bits of lordly concerts, scraps of public hymns? The water
is gray and blue, broad as an arm of the seaa pallid beam,
falling from the height of heaven, annihilates this comedy.
I am an ephemeral and not too discontented citizen of a
metropolis believed modern, because all known taste has been
eluded in the furnishings and the exterior of the houses as well
as in the city plan. Here you would indicate traces of no
monument of superstition. Morals and language are reduced to
their simplest expression, finally! These millions of people who
have no need to know each other bring about so alike education,
jobs, and old age, that this course of life must be several times
less long than what a foolish statistic finds for the people of
the Continent. Also as, from my window, I see new specters
rolling through the thick and eternal coal smokeour
woodland shade, our summer night!new Erinnyes, before my
cottage which is my nation and my whole heart since everything
here resembles itDeath without tears, our active daughter
and servant girl, a Love in despair and a pretty Crime whimpering
in the mud of the street.