Classic and Contemporary Poetry
MICHAEL AND CHRISTINE, by ARTHUR RIMBAUD Poet's Biography
First Line: Blast! If the sun desert these shores
Last Line: Michael and christine-and christ-the idyll's end.
Blast! if the sun desert these shores!
Bright deluge, flee! Look, how the roads darken.
And in the willows and ancient entrance court,
The first big drops fall of the storm.
Blond soldiers of the idyll, O hundred lambs,
From aqueducts and scanty heather,
Away! Horizons, prairies, plains, and heaths
Assist at the red toilet of the storm!
Black shepherd dog and shepherd brown, with billowing cloak
Flee from the lightning of the heights,
And when you see the darkness and the sulphur melt,
Seek refuges more sure, white flock, below.
But I, O Lord, see how my spirit soars
Toward the red-iced skies, beneath
Celestial clouds that race and fly
Over a hundred Solognes, long as a railway.
Lo, a thousand wolves and a thousand seeds
Borne by this holy afternoon of storm
(Not without love of the convolvulus)
Over old Europe where a hundred hordes will swarm!
Afterwards, the moonlight! And throughout the land
Warriors on pale chargers slowly ride,
With ruddy faces turned toward the dark skies!
While under the proud band the stones resound!
And shall I see the yellow wood and the bright vale,
Bride with blue eyes and red-faced man, O Gaul!
And white at their feet the Paschal Lamb,
Michael and Christine-and Christ-the idyll's end.
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