Tender, the young auburn woman,
By such innocence aroused,
Said to the blonde young girl
These words, in a soft low voice:
'Sap which mounts, and flowers which thrust,
Your childhood is a bower:
Let my fingers wander in the moss
Where glows the rosebud
'Let me among the clean grasses
Drink the drops of dew
Which sprinkle the tender flower, --
'So that pleasure, my dear,
Should brighten your open brow
Like dawn the reluctant blue.'
Her dear rare body, harmonious,
Fragrant, white as white
Rose, whiteness of pure milk, and rosy
As a lily beneath purple skies?
Beauteous thighs, upright breasts,
The back, the loins and belly, feast
For the eyes and prying hands
And for the lips and all the sense
'Little one, let us see if your bed
Has still beneath the red curtain
The beautiful pillow that slips so
And the wild sheets. O to your bed!'
--translated by Roland Grant and Paul Archer
The one was fifteen years old, the other sixteen
And they both slept in the same little room.
It happened on an oppressive September eve--
Fragile things! blue-eyed with cheeks of ivory.
To cool their frail bodies each removed
Her dainty chemise fresh with the perfume of amber.
The younger raised her hands and bent backwards,
And her sister, her hands on her breasts, kissed her.
Then fell on her knees, and, in a frenzy,
Grasped her limbs to her cheek, and her mouth
Caressed the blonde gold within the grey shadows:
And during all that time the younger counted
On her darling fingers the promised waltzes,
And, blushing, smiled innocently.
--translated by Francois Pirous
Where to Read More...
Total Eclipse, a movie about the relationship between Rimbaud and Verlaine.