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Youth II (Jeunesse II)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

SONNET

A man of an ordinary constitution, was not the flesh a fruit hung in the orchard—oh childlike days!—when the body is a treasure to squander—oh, love, the peril or the strength of Psyche? The earth had slopes which were fertile in princes and in artists, and descent and race pushed you into crime and into mournings: the world was your fortune and your peril. But now, this work fulfilled, thou, thy calculations—thou, thy lack of patience—these are no longer anything but your dance and your voice, not fixed and in no way forced, although a reason for a double event of invention and success—in a humanity which is brotherly and discreet in a universe without images—strength and right reflect dance and song which at present are alone appreciated.

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