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Arthur Rimbaud
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Movement (Mouvement)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

The curve of rushing waters where the river falls steeply,
The deep eddies by the rudder,
The rush of the descent,
The ceaselessly moving mass of the current
All lead—by incredible suggestion
And the latest chemical discovery——
The travellers, surrounded by the water-spouts of the valley
And of the stream.

These are the world's conquerers
Adventuring in quest of personal fortune;
Sport and comfort voyage with them;
They carry with them on this vessel
The education of races, of classes, and of beasts.
There is repose and vertigo
In the deluge of light
During the terrible evenings of study.

And between talks among the apparatus
The blood, the flowers, fire and gems;
Between agitated reckonings on this fugitive shipboard,
One sees—rolling like a dyke beyond the propelling, hydraulic track,
Monstrous, endlessly enquiring—their stock of studies;
Themselves hunted into harmonious ecstacy
And the heroism of discovery.
In most surprising atmospheric effects
A youthful pair isolate themselves on the arch,
——Is it some ancient savagery one is pardoning?——
And stationed there, they sing.


PAGE 2 OF 2.

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