Summer

Bonne pensée du matin
Arthur Rimbaud

At four o’clock on a summer morning,
The Sleep of love still lasts.
Under the spinneys the dawn disperses scents
Of the festive night.

But down there in the huge workshop
Near the Hesperidean sun,
The carpenters in their shirtsleeves
Are already astir.

Peaceful in the midst of their wilderness of foam,
They are preparing the costly canopies
Where the riches of the city
Will smile beneath painted skies.

Ah! for these charming Labourer’s sakes
Subjects of a king of Babylon,
Venus! leave Lovers for a little while,
Whose souls are wearing crowns.

O Queen of the Shepherds!
Take strong liquor to the workers,
So that their strength may be calmed
Until the sea-bathe at noon.

Translation Oliver Bernard

 

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