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Lives I (Vies I)
by Arthur Rimbaud (1872-75); translated by Helen Rootham (1938).

Oh, the enormous avenues of the Holy Land, and the terraces of the temple! What has become of the Brahman who expounded the Proverbs to me? Still I see even the old people of that time and of that country. I remember silver hours and hours of sunshine near the rivers, my companion's hand upon my shoulder, and our caresses as we stood on the dusty plain. A flight of scarlet pigeons thunders round my thought. Exiled here, I had a stage on which I had to play the dramatic masterpieces of all literatures. I could point out unheard-of riches to you. I know the history of the treasures you have found. I see the sequel! Like chaos, my wisdom is disdained. What is my nothingness beside the stupor you will feel?

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