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Anguish (Angoisse)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Can it be that she will make me pardon the ambitions continually crushed—that a comfortable end makes reparation for the long period of poverty—that one day of success makes us forget the shame of our fatal incompetence?

(Oh laurels! Oh diamond! Love, vigour!—high above all joys and all glory!—in every shape—everywhere, demon, god—youth of this being which is Myself!)

May the mishaps of a scientific fairyland and of the movements of a social brotherhood be cherished as the progressive restitution of the first franchise! . . .

But the Vampire who teaches us to be pleasant, bids us divert ourselves with what she leaves us, or else be more amusing.

Pacing, bleeding, in the tiring air by the sea; in torments, in the silence of the murderous waters and air; torments which laugh in their rough atrocious silence.


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AUTHOR: Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).
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