Arthur Rimbaud: Novel

26 August 2018


I.

No one's serious at seventeen.
--On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need
--You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes;
The wind brings sounds--the town is near--
And carries scents of vineyards and beer...

II.

--Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white...

June nights! Seventeen!--Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head...
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing...

III.

The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
--And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar...

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping,
She turns on a dime, eyes wide,
Finding you too sweet to resist...
--And cavatinas die on your lips.

IV.

You're in love. Off the market till August.
You're in love.--Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
--Then, one night, your beloved, writes...!

That night... you return to the blinding cafés;
You order beer or lemonade...
--No one's serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade.

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