More Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

VERLAINE


 

AVID of life and love, insatiate vagabond,
With quest too furious for the graal he would have won,
He flung himself at the eternal sky, as one
Wrenching his chains but impotent to burst the bond.

Yet under the revolt, the revel, the despond,

5
What pools of innocence, what crystal benison!
As through a riven mist that glowers in the sun,
A stretch of God’s blue calm glassed in a virgin pond.

Prowler of obscene streets that riot reels along,
And aisles with incense numb and gardens mad with rose,

10
Monastic cells and dreams of dim brocaded lawns,

Death, which has set the calm of Time upon his song,
Surely upon his soul has kissed the same repose
In some fair heaven the Christ has set apart for Fauns.