Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Sleeper in the Vale


By Arthur Rimbaud. Translated from the French by Olivia Faix. Use only with permission. The original, "Le dormeur du val," was written in October 1870.

The Sleeper in the Vale

It's a pocket of greenery where a stream sings,
Madly catching on the grass its rags
Of silver; where the sun, from the proud mountain,
Shines: it's a small vale that is bubbling with rays of light.

A young soldier, mouth open, head bare,
And the nape of his neck bathing in cool blue cress,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under the skies,
Pale in his green bed where the light rains.

His feet in the gladioli, he sleeps. Smiling like
A sick child smiles, he is dozing:
Nature, cradle him warmly: he is cold.

The scents do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his chest,
Peaceful. There are two red holes in his right side.

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