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Paul Verlaine: Arthur Rimbaud, Page 10
by Harold Nicolson (1921).

During that July and August they wandered as happy vagabonds throughout the towns and villages of Belgium. Gay and irresponsible, they reeled through Charleroi and Walcourt, through Malines and through Brussels.

Gares prochaines,
Gais chemins grands . . .
Quelles aubaines,
Bons juifs errants !


They visited churches and circuses. They visited museums and village fairs:

Tournez, tournez, bons chevaux de bois,
Tournez cent tours, tournez mille tours,
Tournez souvent et tournez toujours,
Tournez, tournez au son des hautbois . . .

Tournez, tournez ! Le ciel en velours
D'astres en or se vêt lentement.
Voici partir l'amante et l'amant.
Tournez au son joyeux des tambours.


The irresponsible gaiety which lives in the Belgian poems of the Romances sans paroles was not of long duration. Already the seed of regret was flowering for Verlaine into the sad thistles of remorse. At first it is merely a note of sadness amid the carnival of their enjoyment:

Il pleure dans mon cœur
Comme il pleut sur la ville
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur ?

O bruit doux de la pluie
Par terre et sur les toits !
Pour un cœur qui s'ennuie,
O le chant de la pluie !

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce cœur qui s'écœure.
Quoi ! nulle trahison ?
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine
De ne savoir pourquoi,
Sans amour et sans haine,
Mon cœur a tant de peine !


PAGE 10 OF 21.

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