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Being Beauteous (Being Beauteous)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Against a background of snow is a beautiful Being of majestic stature. Death is all round her, and whistling, dying breaths, and circles of hollow music, cause this adored body to rise, to swell, and to tremble like a spectre. Scarlet and black wounds break out on the superb flesh. Colours which belong to life deepen, dance, and separate themselves around the vision, upon the path. Shudders rise and mutter; and the mad savour of all these things, heavy with dying groans and raucous music, is hurled at our Mother of Beauty by the world far behind us. She recoils, she stands erect. Oh rapture! Our bones are covered anew with a body of love.

Ah! The pale ashen face, the mane-like hair, the arms of crystal. And there is the cannon upon which I must cast myself through the noise of trees and light winds.


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