Sunday, February 27, 2011

"melancholy fancies come and go"

by Paul Verlaine

The wind the other night blew down the Love
That in the dimmest corner of the park
So subtly used to smile, bending his arc,
And sight of whom did us so deeply move

One day! The other night's wind blew him down!
The marble dust whirls in the morning breeze.
Oh, sad to view, o'erblotted by the trees,
There on the base, the name of great renown!

Oh, sad to view the empty pedestal!
And melancholy fancies come and go
Across my dream, whereon a day of woe
Foreshadowed is--I know what will befall!

Oh, sad!--And you are saddened also, Sweet,
Are not you, by this scene? although your eye
Pursues the gold and purple butterfly
That flutters o'er the wreck strewn at our feet.

Trans. by Gertrude Hall

Cupid presenting a rose to a butterfly, Antoine-Denis Chaudet, c. 1802

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