The Childhood of Rimbaud

At the edge of the forest, where dream flowers chime,
Brighten and break …
An orange-lipped girl, her knees crossed
In the bright flood that rolls from the fields;
Nudity covered, shadowed and clothed
By rainbows, flowers, and the sea.

***

There is a clock that never strikes.

There is a little swamp, with a nest of pale animals.

***

There is a troupe of tiny strolling players all dressed up,
Seen on the road at the edge of the woods.

And when you are hungry or thirsty,
There is always someone to chase you away.

   ……………………………………………   

Selections from Childhood, by Arthur Rimbaud
translated by Paul Schmidt