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French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine, Page 4  
by Vance Thompson (1900). Page protected by Copyscape DO NOT COPY

Sin had lost its savor. He knelt at the altar he had despised, and prayed to the God he had mocked. He had speech with God, thus: —

Mon Dieu m'a dit: Mon fils, il faut m'aimer.

But the penitent cried: —

Je ne veux pas! Je suis indigne. Vous, la Rose
Immense des purs vents de l'Amour, ô Vous, tous
Les cœurs des saints, ô Vous qui fùtes le Jaloux
D'Israél, Vous la chaste abeille qui se pose

Sur la seule fleur d'une innocence mi-close,
Quoi, moi, moi pouvoir Vous aimer? Étes-vous fous,
Père, Fils, Esprit?


God said again: —

Il faut m'aimer. Je suis Ces Fous que tu nommais.

And then God makes plain the blessed mystery of the Church; and the poor wretch, full of trouble and hope, sees a vision.

Des Anges bleus et blancs portés sur des pavois.


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* * * * * * *

Verlaine was not a man of letters. At the end of his "Ars Poetica," after having laid down the laws of indecisive poetry, he says with divine disdain, "All the rest is literature."

His own precepts explain his art: —

Que ton vers soit la chose envolée
Qu'on sent qui fuit d'une âme en allée
Vers d'autres cieux à d'autres amours.

Que ton vers soit la bonne aventure
Éparse au vent crispé du matin
Qui va fleurant la menthe et le thym. . . .

C'est des beaux yeux derrière des voiles,
C'est le grand jour tremblant de midi.
C'est, par un ciel d'automne attiédi,
Le bleu fouillis des claires étoiles!


* * * * * * *

Verlaine attempted the impossible. He strove all his life to reconcile the seven deadly sins and the three cardinal virtues. He wished to erect in the market-place of Gomorrah a statue of the blessed Virgin. A weak and futile man, he was eminently human. He was simple and intense. He was an exaltation, an exasperation of the modern man, at once mocking and mystic.

Now being dead, — and saved or damned, — he is an accomplice in the eternal mystery.

Priez pour le pauvre Gaspard!

PAGE 4 OF 4.

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APA Style:
Thompson, V (1900). French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine:Page4.  
	Retrieved , from La Nouvelle Décadence Web site: http:
	//webspace.webring.com/people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiotho04.html
______________________________________________

MLA Style:
Thompson, Vance. "French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine:Page4."   
	La Nouvelle Décadence. 1900.  < http://webspace.webring.com
	/people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiotho04.html >.
______________________________________________

Turabian Style:
Thompson, Vance. "French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine:Page4."    
	La Nouvelle Décadence. Available from http://webspace.webring.com
	/people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiotho04.html. Internet; accessed 
        . 
______________________________________________

Chicago Style:
Thompson, Vance. "French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine:Page4." 1900.  
	http://webspace.webring.com/people/tl/lanouvelledecadence/verbiotho04.html 
	(accessed ).
______________________________________________

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
AUTHOR: Thompson, Vance (1900).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: "French Portraits: An Impression of Paul Verlaine:Page4".
TITLE OF WEBSITE: La Nouvelle Décadence.
PUBLISHER: Lannie Brockstein.
LAST UPDATED: December 31st, 2009.
URL: http://webspace.webring.com/people/tl
/lanouvelledecadence/verbiotho04.html
.

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