Classic and Contemporary Poetry
SHAME, by ARTHUR RIMBAUD Poet's Biography
First Line: As long as the blade has never / yet pierced his brain
Last Line: One prayer should rise!
As long as the blade has never
Yet pierced this brain,
This fat and green-white package
Of stagnant vapors,
(Ah! But he ought to cut his lips
His ears, his nose off,
His belly too! and sacrifice-
O marvelous!-both legs!)
But no, I really think
Till over his head the blade,
Over his flank the stones,
Over his gut the flame,
Have not triumphed,
The troublesome child, the feeble fool,
Will not for an instant
Cease his tricks,
And like the Rocky Mountain lion
Will leave his stench behind.
But grant, O God, that when he dies
One prayer should rise!
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