Autumn song

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.

“Chanson d’automne” by Paul Verlaine, from Poèmes saturniens (1866). Translated by Arthur Symons in Poems (First Collected Edition, 1902)

 

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