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Clair De Lune [English]

Paul Verlaine

Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
   Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
   Of being sad in their fantastic trim.

The while they celebrate in minor strain
   Triumphant love, effective enterprise,
They have an air of knowing all is vain,—
   And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise,

The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone,
   That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,
And in their polished basins of white stone
   The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy.

Translated by Gertrude Hall

Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Poems of Paul Verlaine
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