My Thoughts Recover

October 2020 – Minnesota’s Fall Colors

Chanson d’automne

by Paul Verlaine

Les saglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure;

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte

Autumn Song

by Paul Verlaine
Translation by Arthur Symons, 1902. 

When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long.

Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours toll deep.
My thoughts recover,
The days that are over,
And I weep.

And I go 
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.



by Paul Verlaine

With sweetness, with sweetness, with sweetness!
Calm this feverish rapture a little, my charmer.
Even at its height, you see, sometimes, a lover
Needs the quiet forgetfulness of a sister.

Be languid: make your caresses sleep-bringers,
Like your cradling gazes and your sighs.
Ah, the jealous embrace, the obsessive spasm,
Aren’t worth a deep kiss, even one that lies!

But you say to me, child: in your dear heart of gold
Wild desire goes sounding her cry.
Let her trumpet away, she’s far too bold!

Put your brow to my brow, your hand on my hand,
Make me those promises you’ll break by and by,
Let’s weep till the dawn, my little firebrand!