Works: recent


The Warner

Every man worthy of the name
Has in his heart a yellow Snake
Installed as if upon a throne,
Who, if he says: "I will!" answers: "No!"

Plunge your eyes into the fixed gaze
Of Satyresses or Nixies,
The Fang says: "Think of your duty!"

Beget children, set out trees, 
Polish verses, sculpture marble, 
The Fang says: "Will you be alive tonight?

Whatever he may plan or hope, 
Man does not live for an instant 
Without enduring the warning 
Of the unbearable Viper.


The Blind

Contemplate them, my soul; they are truly frightful! 
Like mannequins; vaguely ridiculous; 
Strange and terrible, like somnambulists; 
Darting, one never knows where, their tenebrous orbs.

Their eyes, from which the divine spark has departed, 
Remain raised to the sky, as if they were looking 
Into space: one never sees them toward the pavement 
Dreamily bend their heavy heads.

Thus they go across the boundless darkness,
That brother of eternal silence. O city!
While about us you sing, laugh, and bellow,

In love with pleasure to the point of cruelty, 
See! I drag along also! but, more dazed than they, 
I say: "What do they seek in Heaven, all those blind?"

The Bad Monk

 Cloisters in former times portrayed on their high walls The truths of Holy Writ with fitting pictures Which gladdened pious hearts and lessened the coldness, The austere appearance, of those monasteries. In those days the sowing of Christ's Gospel flourished, And more than one famed monk, seldom quoted today, Taking his inspiration from the graveyard, Glorified Death with naive simplicity. — My soul is a tomb where, bad cenobite, I wander and dwell eternally; Nothing adorns the walls of that loathsome cloister.
O lazy monk! When shall I learn to make Of the living spectacle of my bleak misery The labor of my hands and the love of my eyes?