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Arthur Rimbaud
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Wasted Youth (Larme)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872); translated by William John Robertson (1895).

Far from the birds and the herds and the meadows,
Kneeling I drank in the heather, aswoon
With a tender caress of the hazel-tree shadows
In the haze of a genial and green afternoon.

What could I drink from this young river welling
Voiceless elms, flowerless swards, skies cloud-accurst!
Drink in these green gourds, so far from my dwelling?
But some golden liquor that kindles the thirst.

Sinister signboard to swing on a tavern!
Storm in the welkin changed noon into night;
Then were black islands, dark creek and dull cavern,
Stark poles and bare columns athwart the blue light.

The wave from the woodland the virgin sands swallowed,
God's wind paved the pools with ice to the brink;
'Twas gold-diver's, pearl-fisher's luck I had followed
For, fancy, I never bethought me to drink!


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AUTHOR: Arthur Rimbaud (1872); translated by William John Robertson (1895).
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