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Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song, Page 7  
by Bergen Applegate (1916). Page protected by Copyscape DO NOT COPY

He appears to have been popular with his friends. In fact, through his entire life he seems to have had the gift of friendship, and this, despite his eccentricities. His was a sort of saturnine gaiety — repulsive and pleasing by turns.

When Captain Verlaine died, he left his widow in modest but comfortable circumstances, and while the poet's salary as a clerk was small, he spent it entirely upon himself, and a little money in 1869, in Paris, went far, if one had Bohemian tastes.

The poet had already met Victor Hugo, and Sainte-Beuve had earnestly and conscientiously praised his Poèmes Saturniens. Barbey d'Aurevilly had also given him a slight stab of criticism. He knew intimately most of the literary people of Paris worth knowing. He was a welcomed guest at the homes of influential and worthy people. Although exceedingly ugly of face, he rather fascinated and stamped his individuality upon those who saw him for the first time. Usually careless in his costume, he now dressed better, and he was in love!

Life at times is very much like those fine old Swiss clocks that play a merry little tune and then strike the hour — solemnly.

The object of the poet's affection was Mdlle. Mathilde Mauté, half-sister to one of his friends, Charles de Sivry, and it was at the latter's home that he first met her in the spring of 1 869. It seems to have been a case of love at first sight upon the part of both. Mdlle. Maute was very young, almost a child, and she seems to have been singularly attractive, judging from what has been written about her. That she inspired one of the most beautiful of the poet's works, La Bonne Chanson (The Good Song), must ever resound to her credit. Unfortunate for her that her path should have crossed that of the unhappy man whom she was later to wed. Posterity will forgive her any faults committed in hours of sorrow. Verlaine as a husband was impossible.


Youth and love! The divine alchemy that transmutes the base metals of daily life into the pure gold of sentiment! The poet sang:

"Before thou takest flight
Pale star of dawn sublime,

— A thousand quail
Singing, singing in the thyme, —

Turn toward the poet,
Mark his eyes how full of love,
— The lark
Mounts to the sky above."

The courtship of the young couple was filled, alternately, with ecstasy and disappointment, and the date of the wedding was postponed twice. Verlaine gave up for the time his dissipated habits and became a dutiful son, if not an ideal lover. He continued to unburden his heart with the good song, and the spring of 1870 saw his hopes about to be realized. He raised his voice in that matchless lay of triumphant joy:

"Winter has gone: the balmy light indeed
Dances, from earth unto the heavens clear.
O, well may the heart the most sad accede
To the immense joy scattered in the air!"

PAGE 7 OF 15.

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Applegate, B (1916). Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song:Page7.    
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MLA Style:
Applegate, Bergen. "Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song:Page7."    
	La Nouvelle Décadence. 1916.  < http://webspace >.

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Applegate, Bergen. "Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song:Page7."     
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Chicago Style:
Applegate, Bergen. "Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song: Paul Verlaine   
	:Page7." 1916. 
	/verbioapp07.html (accessed ).

AUTHOR: Applegate, Bergen (1916).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: "Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song:Page7".
TITLE OF WEBSITE: La Nouvelle Décadence.
PUBLISHER: Lannie Brockstein.
LAST UPDATED: January 1st, 2010.

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