25+ Best Arthur Rimbaud Poems You Need To Read

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of best known Hasmukh Amathalal poems, most famous Mahmoud Darwish poems, and selected Abraham Lincoln poems.

Famous Arthur Rimbaud Poems

Paris

Al Godillot, Gambier, Galopeau,
Wolf-Pleyel – O Robinets! –
Menier, – O Chirsts! – Leperdriel!
Kinck, Jacob, Bonbonnel!
Veuillot, Tropmann, Augier!
Gill, Mendes, Manuel, Guido Gonin! –
Basket of the Graces! L’Herisse!
Unctuous waxes!
Old loaves, spirits!
Blind men! –
but then who knows? –
Beadles, Enghien. –
In one’s own home!
Let’s be Christian!

Obscur Et Fronce

Dark, wrinkled as a purple pink,
It breathes, it nestles in that bed of moss,
Still damp from love, which hugs the slope,
The white thighs’ slope, to crater’s heart.
Threads, gossamer, milky tears
Wept, wept, in scouring wind
That drove them on clots of scarlet scree
Till they tumbled on the edge, were gone.
My dreams touch kisses, kisses to the gate.
Soul envies couplings of the flesh,
Its tear-bottle this, its nest of sobs.
Ecstatic olive! Seductive flute!
Throat sucking almond-sweet sublime!
Moss-circled, female, promised land!

First Communions

Truly, they’re stupid, these village churches
Where fifteen ugly chicks soiling the pillars
Listen, trilling out their divine responses,
To a black freak whose boots stink of cellars:
But the sun wakes now, through the branches,
The irregular stained-glass’s ancient colours.

The stone always smells of its earthly mother.
You’ll see masses of those earthy rocks
In the rutting country that solemnly quivers,
And bears, on ochrous paths, near heavy crops,
Those burnt shrubs where the sloe turns bluer,
Those black mulberries the hedge-roses top.

Once a century, they make the barns respectable
With a wash of curdled milk and blue water:
If grotesque mysteries are viewed as notable,
Near to the straw-stuffed Saint or Madonna,
Flies, that know every inn and every stable,
Gorge on wax there, dotting the sunlit floor.

The child’s duty above all’s to home and family,
Simple cares, honest toil that stupefies;
They go, forgetting how their skin crawls freely
Where the Priest of Christ’s powerful finger lies.
The Priest has a house shaded with hornbeam
So he can loose these tanned brows to the light.

The first black suit, the finest pastries, there,
Beneath the little Drummer or Napoleon
Some plate where Josephs and Marthas stare,
Sticking their tongues out with excess emotion,
Joined, on the day of truth, by maps, a pair,
Are the sole sweet mementoes of Devotion.

The girls always go to church, content forever
To hear themselves called bitches by the sons,
Who put on airs, after Mass or Sung Vespers,
Those who are destined to grace the garrisons,
In cafes taunt the important families, snicker,
Dressed in new jackets, yelling frightful songs.

Meanwhile the Curé for the children’s choosing
Pictures; in his garden, and, when Vespers done,
The air fills with the distant sound of dancing,
He feels, despite all celestial inhibition,
His calves beat time, his toes with joy wriggling;
– Night steps, dark pirate, onto skies all golden.

II

The Priest has noted among the catechists,
Gathering from the Faubourgs and the Quarters,
This little unknown girl, her eyes pale mist,
Her sallow brow. Her parents humble porters:
‘On the great Day, seeing her among the Catechists,
God will snow down blessings on this daughter.’

III

On the eve of the great Day, the child feels ill.
Better than in the tall Church’s dismal murmuring,
First a shudder comes – bed’s not uninteresting – still,
The supernatural shudder may return: ‘I’m dying…’

And, like a theft of love from her stupid sisters,
She sees, exhausted and hands on heart, there,
Angels, Jesus, a Holy Virgin that glimmers;
And calmly her whole soul swallows her conqueror.

Adonai! … – In their Latin endings dressed,
Skies shot with green bathe Brows of crimson,
And, stained by pure blood from heavenly breasts,
Across swirling suns, fall great snowy linens!

– For her present and future virginities
She bites on the freshness of your Remission,
But more so than sweetmeats or water-lilies,
Your forgiveness is like ice, O Queen of Zion!

IV

Then the Virgin’s no more than the virgin of the book.
Mystical impulses are often thwarted…
The hideous print and the old woodcut come,
Poverty of images, bronze-sheathed by boredom.

Startled, her dream of chaste blueness,
By vaguely indecent curiosities,
Surprises itself among celestial tunics,
Linen with which Christ veils his nudities.

She yearns, she yearns, still, soul in distress,
Brow on the pillow racked by muffled sounds,
To prolong the supreme flashes of tenderness,
And dribbles – Darkness over house and grounds.

And the child can bear it no longer, she stirs,
Arches her back, opens the blue bed-hangings,
To draw the coolness of the room towards her,
Beneath the sheet, to breasts’ and belly’s burning.

V

Waking – at midnight – the window-panes were
White. Past the blue sleep of moonlit hangings,
The vision of Sunday candours captured her;
She’d dreamed of red. Her nose was bleeding,

And, feeling quite chaste and full of weakness,
Savouring love’s return to a God once known,
She thirsted for night when the heart may guess
At soft skies where it worships and bows down;

For night, impalpable Virgin-Mother, that bathes
All youthful emotion in its shadowy silences;
Thirsted for deep night where the heart, blood-stained,
Pours out without cries rebellion without witnesses.

And playing the Victim and the little bride,
Her star saw her, a candle between her fingers,
Descend to the courtyard where clothes dried,
White spectre raising the roofs’ black spectres.

VI

She passed her holy night in the latrine,
To the candle, from roof-holes, white air flowed,
And full of purplish blackness a wild vine,
Skirting the next-door yard hung down below.

The skylight made a heart of living brightness,
In the yard where the low sky, with its red-gold,
Plated the panes; cobbles, stinking with excess
Wet filth, sulphured the sleep-dark wall-shadows.

VII

Who’ll speak of that languor, those unclean pities,
And what hatred will fall on her, O you filthy
Lunatics, whose divine work still warps destinies,
When leprosy finally devours that sweet body?

VIII

And when, having swallowed all her hysterias,
She sees, in the melancholy born of happiness,
Her lover dreaming of the white million Marys
In the dawn of the night of love, her distress:

‘Do you know I killed you? Took your mouth,
Your heart, all that one has, all you possess;
And I, I am ill: Oh, I wish that I were drowned
With the Dead, drenched by nocturnal waters!

I was a child, and Christ has soiled my breath.
Filled me with loathing, through and through!
You kissed my hair thick as a fleece, and yes,
I allowed it….Oh, there, it’s all fine for you,

Men! Who don’t see that the most loving woman
Is, behind conscience full of ignoble terror,
The most prostituted and the most saddened,
That our every impulse towards You is error!

For my first Communion is long past.
I have no power ever to know your kisses:
And my heart and flesh, your flesh has clasped,
Seethe with the rotten kisses of Jesus!’

IX

Then, the desolate soul, and the soul that’s putrid,
Both will feel the stream of your maledictions.
– They’ll be at rest in your inviolate Hatred,
Freed, for death’s sake, from honest passions,

Christ! O Christ, the eternal thief of vigour,
God who, for two millennia, bowed to your pallor,
Nailed to the earth, in shame and mental horror,
Or overwhelmed, the brows of women of sorrow.

Genie

He is love and the present because he has opened our house
to winter’s foam and to the sound of summer,
He who purified all that we drink and tea;
He is the charm of passing places,
the incarnate delight of all things that abide.
He is affection and the future,
the strength and love that we,
standing surrounded by anger and weariness,
See passing in the storm-filled sky and in banners of ecstasy.
He is love, perfect and rediscovered measure,
Reason, marvelous and unforeseen,
Eternity: beloved prime mover of the elements, of destinies.
We all know the terror of his yielding, and of ours:
Oh delight of our well-being, brilliance of our faculties,
selfish affection and passion for him, who loves us forever…
And we remember him, and he goes on his way…
And if Adoration departs, then it sounds, his promise sounds:
‘Away with these ages and superstitions,
These couplings, these bodies of old!
All our age has submerged.’ He will not go away,
will not come down again from some heave.
He will not fulfill the redemption of women’s fury
nor the gaiety of men nor the rest of this sin:
For he is and he is loved, and so it is already done.
Oh, his breathing, the turn of his head when he runs:
Terrible speed of perfection in action and form!
Fecundity of spirit and vastness of the universe! His body!
Release so long desired, The splintering of grace before a new violence!
Oh, the sight, the sight of him!
All ancient genuflections, all sorrows are lifted as he passes.
The light of his day! All moving and sonorous
suffering dissolves in more intense music.
In his step there are vaster migrations than the old invasions were.
Oh, He and we! a pride more benevolent than charities lost.
Oh, world! and the shining song of new sorrows.
He has known us all and has loved us.
Let us discover how, this winter night, to hail him from cape to cape,
from the unquiet pole to the château,
from crowded cities to the empty coast,
from glance to glance, with our strength and our feelings exhausted,
To see him, and to send him once again away…
And beneath the tides and over high deserts of snow
To follow his image, his breathing, his body, the light of his day.

Young Greedyguts

Cap of silk moiré, little wand of ivory,
Clothes very dark.
Paul watches the cupboard,
sticks out little tongue at pear,
Prepares, gives a poke, and squitters.

Original French

Jeune goinfre

Casquette
De moire,
Quéquette
D’ivoire,

Toilette< br>Très noire,
Paul guette
L’armoire,

Projette
Languette
Sur poire,

S’apprête
Baguette,
Et foire.

Morts De Quatre-Vingt-Douze (Dead Of ’92)

Morts de Quatre-vingt-douze et de Quatre-vingt-treize,
Qui, pâles du baiser fort de la liberté,
Calmes, sous vos sabots, brisiez le joug qui pèse
Sur l’âme et sur le front de toute humanité ;

Hommes extasiés et grands dans la tourmente,
Vous dont les coeurs sautaient d’amour sous les haillons,
O Soldats que la Mort a semés, noble Amante,
Pour les régénérer, dans tous les vieux sillons ;

Vous dont le sang lavait toute grandeur salie,
Morts de Valmy, Morts de Fleurus, Morts d’Italie,
O million de Christs aux yeux sombres et doux ;

Nous vous laissions dormir avec la République,
Nous, courbés sous les rois comme sous une trique.

Messieurs de Cassagnac nous reparlent de vous !


You Dead of ninety-two and ninety-three,
Who, pale from the great kiss of Liberty,
Crushed, calm, beneath your wooden shoes
That yoke that weighs on human brows and souls:

Men exalted, great in agony,
You whose hearts raged with love, in misery,
O soldiers that Death, noble Lover, has sown
In all the old furrows, so they’ll be reborn:

You whose blood washed every soiled grandeur,
Dead of Valmy, Dead of Fleurus, Dead of Italy,
O millions of Christs with eyes gentle and sombre:

We’ve let you fall asleep with the Republic,
We, cowering under kings as if under blows.
– They’re telling tales of you so we’ll remember!

The Sly One

In the brown dining-room,
which was perfumed
with the scent of polish and fruit,
I was shoveling up at my ease
a plateful of some Belgian dish
or other, and sprawling in my enormous chair.

While I ate, I listened, happy and silent, to the clock.
The kitchen door opened with a gust,
and the servant girl came in,
I don’t know what for,
neckerchief loose, hair dressed impishly.

And, passing her little finger tremblingly across her cheek,
a pink and white peach-bloom,
pouting with her childish mouth,
she tidied the plates standing close to me,
to make me feel comfortable; – and then, just like that,

to get a kiss of course –
said very softly: ‘Feel, then, I’ got a cold in the cheek…’

Winter Festival

The cascade resounds behind operetta huts.
Fireworks prolong, through the orchards
and avenues near the Meander,–
the greens and reds of the setting sun.
Horace nymphs with First Empire headdresses,–
Siberian rounds and Boucher’s Chinese ladies.

What One Says To The Poet On The Subject Of Flowers

I

Thus, ever, towards the azure night
Where there quivers a topaz sea,
Will function in your evening light
The Lilies, those clysters of ecstasy!

In our own age of sago, as they must,
Since all the Plants are workers first,
The Lilies will drink a blue disgust,
From your religious Prose, not verse!

– The Lily of Monsieur de Kerdrel
The sonnet of eighteen thirty, the plant,
That Lily, they bestow on ‘The Minstrel’
With the carnation and the amaranth!

Lilies! Lilies! You see never a one!
Yet in your Verses, like the Sinners’
Sleeves, those of soft-footed women,
Always those white flowers shiver!

Always, Dear, when you take a bathe,
Your Shirt with yellow armpits rots
Swells to the breeze of rising day,
Above the soiled forget-me-nots!

Love, only, through your nets
Smuggles Lilies – O unequal!
And the Woodland Violets,
The dark Nymphs’ sugary spittle!…

II

O Poets, if you could but own
To the red on the laurel’s firm stem
To the Roses, the Roses, blown,
With a thousand octaves swollen!

If BANVILLE could make them snow,
Blood-stained, whirling in gyrations,
Blacking the eye of that stranger so,
Who sees wicked interpretations!

In your forests, by your paths,
O so placid photographers!
Like the stoppers on carafes,
The Flora’s more or less diverse!

Always the vegetables, French,
Absurd, consumptive, up for a fight,
Bellies of basset hounds they drench,
Peacefully passed in evening light;

Always, after fearful drawings
Of blue Lotus or that Sunflower,
Pink prints, subjects befitting
Girls in communion’s sweet hour!

The Asoka Ode agrees with the
Loretto window stanza; showers
Of bright butterflies, heavy, flutter,
Dunging on the daisy flowers.

Old verdures, old braided ribbons!
O vegetable biscuit bakes!
Fantastic flowers of old Salons!
– For cockchafers, not rattlesnakes,

Those vegetable dolls in tears
Grandville would have mislaid
In the margin, sucking colours
From spiteful stars with eye-shades!

Yes, the drooling of your flutes
Produces precious sugar!
– Heaps of fried eggs in old boots,
Lily, Lilac, Rose, Asoka!…

III

O white Hunter, running through,
Stocking-less, the Panic field,
Shouldn’t you, couldn’t you
Acquire a little botany?

You’d have succeed, I’m afraid,
To russet Crickets, Spanish Fly,
Rio golds to Rhine blue, Norway
To Florida, in the blink of an eye:

But, Dear, art cannot, for us,
– It’s true – permit, it’s wrong,
To the astounding Eucalyptus,
Boa-Constrictors, hexameter-long;

There…! As if Mahogany
Served, even in our Guiana,
Only the Capuchin monkey
To ride the mad weight of liana!

– In short, a single Flower: is it,
Lily or Rosemary, live or dead,
Worth a spot of sea-gull’s shit,
Worth a candle drip, I said?

– And I mean what I say, mind!
Even you, squatting there, in one
Of those bamboo-huts – blind
Shut, behind brown Persian curtain –

You’d scrawl about things floral
Worthy of some wild Oise department!…
– Poet, yet that’s a rationale
No less laughable than it’s arrogant!

IV

Speak, not of pampas in the spring,
Black with terrible rebellions,
But of tobacco, cotton growing!
Speak of exotic harvest seasons!

Speak, white brow that Phoebus tanned,
Of how many dollars Pedro
Velasquez of Havana earned;
En-shit the Bay of Sorrento

Where in thousands rest the Swans;
Let your stanzas undertake
The draining of the mangrove swamps,
Filled with hydras, water-snakes!

Your quatrains plunge in blood-wet groves
Return, bringing Humanity
Diverse offerings, sugars, cloves,
Lozenges and rubber-trees!

Let us know if the yellowness
Of snowy Peaks, near the Tropic,
Is prolific insect’s nests
Or lichens microscopic!

Seek, O Hunter, our wish what’s more,
Diverse fragrant madders,
That, for our Army, Nature
Might cause to bloom in trousers!

Seek, beside the slumbering Glades,
Flowers that look like muzzles, oh,
Out of which drip gold pomades,
On the dark hide of the buffalo!

Seek wild fields, where in the Blue
Trembles the silver of pubescence,
Calyxes of fiery eggs that brew
Steeped in burning oily essence!

Seek the Thistle’s cotton-bin,
Whose downy wool ten asses
With ember eyes toil to spin!
Seek flowers which are chassis!

Yes, seek at the heart of black seams
Nigh-on stone-like flowers – marvels! –
That near their hard pale ovaries
Bear soft gemmiferous tonsils!

Serve us, O Crammer, as you can,
On a fine vermilion platter
Stews of syrupy Lilies, plan
To corrode our German silver!

V

Many will sing of Love sublime,
The thief of sombre Indulgence:
Not Renan, nor Murr the cat, I’m
Sure, know Thyrsi, blue, immense!

You’ll quicken, in our torpors,
Hysterias, through your fragrances;
Exalt us towards candours
Purer than Marys’ whitenesses…

Colonist! Trader! Medium!
Your Rhyme, pink, white, will be
A welling ray of sodium,
A well-tapped dripping rubber-tree!

From your dark Poems – Juggler!
Let dioptric white, green, red,
Burst out like strange flowers,
Electric butterflies instead!

See! It’s the Century of hell!
Telegraph poles will honour
– A lyre, where steel songs swell,
Your magnificent shoulder!

Rhyme us above all a version
On the ills of potato blight!
– And to aid the composition
Of Poems of mysterious light

To be read from Tréguier
To Paramaribo, don’t forget
To buy Tomes by Monsieur Figuier,
– Illustrated – from Monsieur Hachette!

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 odours 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
Foe wives or children, worn and faded bows,
Grandmothers’ collars made of figured lace;

There you will find old medals, locks of grey
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.

The Cupboard

It’s a board carved wooden cupboard;
the ancient dark-coloured oak
has taken on that pleasant air
that old people have; the cupboard is open,
and gives off from its kindly shadows
inviting aromas like a breath of old wine;
full to overflowing, it’s a jumble of quaint old things:
fragrant yellowed linen,
rags of women’s or children’s clothes, faded laces,
grandmothers’ kerchiefs embroidered with griffins;

here you could find lockets,
and locks of white or blonde hair,
portraits and dried flowers
whose smell mingles with the smell of fruit. –

O cupboard of old times, you know plenty of stories;
and you’d like to tell them;
and you clear your throat every time
your great dark doors slowly open.

Vigils

I.
It is a repose in the light,
neither fever nor languor,
on a bed or on a meadow.
It is the friend neither violent nor weak.
The friend.
It is the beloved neither
tormenting nor tormented.
The beloved.
Air and the world not sought.
Life. –Was it really this?
–And the dream grew cold.

II.
The lighting comes round
to the crown post again.
From the two extremities of the room
— decorations negligible
— harmonic elevations join.

The wall opposite the watcher
is a psychological succession
of atmospheric sections of friezes,
bands, and geological accidents.

Intense quick dream
of sentimental groups
with people of all possible characters
amidst all possible appearances.

III.
The lamps and the rugs
of the vigil make the noise
of waves in the night,
along the hull and around the steerage.

The sea of the vigil, like Emily’s breasts.
The hangings, halfway up,
undergrowth of emerald tinted lace,
where dart the vigil doves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The plaque of the black hearth,
real suns of seashores! ah! magic wells;
only sight of dawn, this time.

Promontory

Golden dawn and shivering evening find our brig lying by opposite
this villa and its dependencies which form a promontory
as extensive as Epirus and the Peloponnesus,
or as the large island of Japan, or as Arabia!
Fanes lighted up by the return of the theories;
prodigious views of a modern coast’s defenses;
dunes illustrated with flaming flowers and bacchanalia;
grand canals of Carthage and Embankments of a dubious Venice;
Etnas languidly erupting, and crevasses of flowers and of glacier waters;
washhouses surrounded by German poplars;
strange parks with slopes bowing down the heads of the Tree of Japan;
and circular facades of the ‘Grands’ and the ‘Royals’ of Scarborough and of Brooklyn;
and their railways flank, cut through, and overhang this hotel whose plan
was selected in the history of the most elegant and the most colossal edifices
of Italy, America, and Asia, and whose windows and terraces,
at the moment full of expensive illumination, drinks and breezes,
are open to the fancy of the travelers and the nobles who,–
during the day allow all the tarantellas of the coast,–
and even the ritornellos of the illustrious valleys of art,
to decorate most wonderfully the facades of Promontory Palace.

The Customs Men

Those who say Gord Struth; those who say Swelp Me –
pensioned soldiers and sailors, the wreckage of Empire –
are nothing, nothing at all, compared with the warriors of Excise
who slash the blue frontiers with their great axe-blows.
Pipes in their teeth, blades in their hands, deep, unruffled,
when darkness noses at the woods like a cow’s muzzle, off they go,
leading their dogs, to hold their nocturnal and terrible revels!
They report the bacchantes to the laws of today.
They clap hands on the shoulders of Fausts and of Devils:
‘Now then, none of that, you old dodgers! Put those bundles down!’
And, when his serene highness accosts the young,
the Customs Man holds fast to all contraband charms!
The Inferno for Offenders whom his hand has frisked!

State Of Siege

The poor omnibus driver under the tin canopy,
warming a huge chilblain inside his glove,
follows his heavy omnibus along the left bank,
and from his inflated groin thrusts away the moneybag.

And while [in the] soft shadow
where there are policemen,
the respectable interior of the bus looks at the moon
in the deep sky rocking
among its green cotton wool,
in spite of the Edict
and the still delicate hour,
and the fact that the bus is
returning to the Odeon,
the lewd wanton utters piercing cries
at the darkened square!
Francois Coppee

Lilies

O see-saws! O Lilies!
Enemas of silver!
Disdainful of labours,
disdainful of famines!

Dawn fills you with
a [wound-searching,] cleansing love!
A heavenly sweetness
butters your stamens!
Armand Silvestre

May Banners

In the bright lime-tree branches
Dies a fainting mort. But lively song
Flutters among the currant bushes.
So that our bloods may laugh in our veins,
See the vines tangling themselves.

The sky is as pretty as an angel,
The azure and the wave commune.
I go out. If a sunbeam wounds me
I shall succumb on the moss.
Being patient and being bored
Are too simple. To the devil with my cares.

I want dramatic summer
To bind me to its chariot of fortune.
Let me most because of you, o Nature, –
Ah ! less alone and less useless ! – die.

There where the Shepherds, it’s strange,
Die more or less because of the world.
I am willing that the seasons should wear me out.
To you, Nature, I surrender ;
With my hunger and all my thirst.

And, if it please you, feed and water me.
Nothing, nothing at all deceives me ;
To laugh at the sun is to laugh at one’s parents,
But I do not wish to laugh at anything ;
And may this misfortune go free.
~~

May Banners
(alternative translation
)

In the bright branches of the lindens dies a sickly hunting call.
But the lively songs fly about in the currant bushes.
So that our blood will laugh in our veins, here are the vines all entangled.
The sky is pretty as an angel.
The azure and the wave commune.
I go out. If a ray of light wounds me, I will expire on the moss

To be patient and to be bored are to simple. Fie* on my cares.
I want a dramatic summer to bind me to it’s chariot of fortune.
Let me, o nature, mostly through you

Ah ! less alone and less worthless ! – die.
In the place where the shepherds, it is strange,
die approximately through out the world

I am willing that the seasons wear me out.
To you nature, I give myself over;
And my hunger and all my thirst.
And, if you will, feed and water me.

Nothing at all deceives me;
To laugh at the sun is to laugh at one’s parents,
but I do not want to laugh at anything;
And may this misfortune be free.

Stupra Ii

Our buttocks are not theirs.
I have often seen people unbuttoned behind some hedge;
and, in those shameless bathings where children are gay,
I used to observe the form and performance of our arse.

Firmer, in many cases pale, it possesses striking forms
which the screen of hairs covers;
for women, it is only in the charming parting
that the long tufted silk flowers.

A touching and marvellous ingenuity such as you see only
in the faces of angels in holy
pictures imitates the cheek
where the smile makes a hollow.

Oh! for us to be naked like that,
seeking joy and repose,
facing one’s companion’s glorious part,
both of us free to murmur and sob?

Les Effarés

Noirs dans la neige et dans la brume,
Au grand soupirail qui s’allume,
Leurs culs en rond,

À genoux, cinq petits, – misère ! –
Regardent le boulanger faire
Le lourd pain blond…

Ils voient le fort bras blanc qui tourne
La pâte grise, et qui l’enfourne
Dans un trou clair.

Ils écoutent le bon pain cuire.
Le boulanger au gras sourire
Chante un vieil air.

Ils sont blottis, pas un ne bouge,
Au souffle du soupirail rouge,
Chaud comme un sein.

Et quand pendant que minuit sonne,
Façonné, pétillant et jaune,
On sort le pain ;

Quand, sous les poutres enfumées,
Chantent les croûtes parfumées,
Et les grillons ;

Quand ce trou chaud souffle la vie ;
Ils ont leur âme si ravie
Sous leurs haillons,

Ils se ressentent si bien vivre,
Les pauvres petits plein de givre,

Qu’ils sont là, tous,

Collant leur petits museaux roses
Au grillage, chantant des choses,
Entre les trous,

Mais bien bas, – comme une prière….
Repliés vers cette lumière
Du ciel rouvert,

Si fort, qu’ils crèvent leur culotte,

Et que leur lange blanc tremblotte
Au vent d’hiver….

The Accursed Cherub

Bluish roofs and white doors
As on nocturnal Sundays,
At the town’s end,
the road without Sound is white,
and it is night.

The street has strange houses
With shutters of angels.
But look how he runs towards a Boundary-stone,
evil and shivering, A dark cherub who staggers,
Having eaten too many jububes.
He does a cack : then disappears :
But his cursed cack appears,
Under the holy empty moon,
A slight cesspool of dirty blood !
Louis Ratisbonne.

Original French

L’angelot maudit

Toits bleuâtres et portes blanches
Comme en de nocturnes dimanches,

Au bout de la ville sans bruit
La Rue est blanche, et c’est la nuit.

La Rue a des maisons étranges
Avec des persiennes d’Anges.

Mais, vers une borne, voici
Accourir, mauvais et transi,

Un noir Angelot qui titube,
Ayant trop mangé de jujube.

Il fait caca : puis disparaît :
Mais son caca maudit paraît,

Sous la lune sainte qui vaque,
De sang sale un léger cloaque

The Famous Victory Of Saarbrucken

At centre, the Emperor, blue-yellow, in apotheosis,
Gallops off, ramrod straight, on his fine gee-gee,
Very happy – since everything he sees is rosy,
Fierce as Zeus, and as gentle as a Daddy is:

The brave Infantrymen taking a nap, in vain,
Under the gilded drums and scarlet cannon,
Rise politely. One puts his tunic back on,
And, turns to the Chief, stunned by the big name!

On the right, another, leaning on his rifle butt,
Feeling the hair rise at the back of his neck,
Shouts: ‘Vive L’Empereur!!” – his neighbour’s mute…

A shako rises, like a black sun…– In the midst
The last, a simpleton in red and blue, lying on his gut
Gets up, and, – showing his arse – asks: “On what?”

Lips Shut. Seen In Rome

In Rome within the Sistine Chapel,
Covered over with Christian signs,
There is a scarlet coloured casket
Where most ancient noses dry:

Noses of Thebaid ascetics,
Noses of Sangreal canons
In which livid night firmset is,
And the old sepulchral anthems.

Into their aridity mystical
Is introduced each morningtide
Some filthiness schismatical
Ground into a powder fine.
Léon Dierx

Original French

Les lèvres closes.
Vu à Rome

Il est, à Rome, à la Sixtine,
Couverte d’emblèmes chrétiens,
Une cassette écarlatine
Où sèchent des nez fort anciens :

Nez d’ascètes de Thébaïde,
Nez de chanoines du Saint Graal
Où se figea la nuit livide,
Et l’ancien plain-chant sépulcral.

Dans leur sécheresse mystique,
Tous les matins, on introduit
De l’immondice schismatique
Qu’en poudre fine on a réduit.
Léon Dierx.

Stages (Scenes)

Ancient Comedy pursues its harmonies and divides its Idylls:
Raised platforms along the boulevards.
A long wooden pier the length of a rocky field in which
the barbarous crowd moves about under the denuded trees.
In corridors of black gauze, following the promenades
with their lanterns and their leaves.
Birds of the mysteries swoop down onto a masonry pontoon,
swayed by the sheltered archipelago of spectators’ boats.
Operatic scenes with accompaniment of flute and drum
look down from slanting recesses contrived below
the ceilings around modern club rooms and halls of ancient Orient.
The fairy spectacle maneuvers at the top of an amphitheater
crowned with thickets,– or moves and modulates for the Boeotians
in the shade of waving forest trees, on the edge of the cultivated fields.
The opera-comique is divided on a stage at the line of intersection
of ten partitions set up between the gallery and the footlights.

The Old Guard

To the emperor’s peasants!
To the peasants’ emperor!
To the sons of mars,
to the glorious 18 March!
When heaven blessed
the guts of Eugene!

Le Châtiment De Tartufe

Tisonnant, tisonnant son coeur amoureux sous
Sa chaste robe noire, heureux, la main gantée,
Un jour qu’il s’en allait, effroyablement doux,
Jaune, bavant la foi de sa bouche édentée,

Un jour qu’il s’en allait, ‘Oremus’, – un Méchant
Le prit rudement par son oreille benoite
Et lui jeta des mots affreux, en arrachant
Sa chaste robe noire autour de sa peau moite !

Châtiment !… Ses habits étaient déboutonnés,
Et le long chapelet des péchés pardonnés
S’égrenant dans son coeur, Saint Tartufe était pâle !…

Donc, il se confessait, priait, avec un râle !
L’homme se contenta d’emporter ses rabats…

Peuh ! Tartufe était nu du haut jusques en bas !

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