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Matinée D'ivresse (Matinée d'ivresse)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Oh my Good! Oh my Ideal! Atrocious fanfare which does not make me lose my balance! Fairy prop! Hurrah for the wonderful work and the marvellous body; for this initiation! It began amidst the laughter of children and it will end there too. This poison will remain in our veins, even when—the fanfare shifting its tone—we shall have returned to the old lack of harmony. But now let us—so worthy of these tortures—fervently recall the superhuman promise made to our body and soul at their creation. Let us recall this promise—this madness! Elegance, Science, Violence! To us the promise was made that the Tree of Knowledge should be buried in the shade, that tyrannical respectabilities should be deported in order that our pure love should be indulged. It began with certain aversions, and ended—we being unable to grasp eternity at the moment—with a confusion of perfumes. Laughter of children, discretion of slaves, austerity of virgins, dread of earthly things and beings—holy be ye held by the memory of that evening! It began with every sort of boorishness; it ended with angels of flame and of ice. Little evening of intoxication, blessed be you! Rule and method, we are your champions! We do not forget how last night you glorified each one of us, young and old. We have faith in your poison. We know how to sacrifice our entire life every day.

The time of Assassins is here!


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