Théophile Gautier

T
Théophile Gautier
The Blind Man
A blind man, on the thoroughfare,
Startle-eyed as an owl by day,
Piping a dismal little air,
Taps here and there, loses his way,

Tootles awry his time-old ditty
Undauntedly, as by his side
Lopes his dog, guides him through the city,
Specter diurnal, sleepy-eyed.
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Farewell to Poetry
Come, fallen angel, and your pink wings close;
Doff your white robe, your rays that gild the skies;
You must—from heaven, where once you used to rise—
Streak, like a shooting star, fall into prose.

Your bird’s feet now must strike an earthly pose.
It is no time to fly: walk! Lock your prize—
Your harp’s fair harmonies—in resting wise,
Within your heart: vain, worthless treasures those!
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Last Wish
A long time have I known you... Why,
Full eighteen years, I must confess!
All pink are you; pale, blear am I.
Winters, mine; yours, spring’s comeliness!

White cemetery lilacs sprout
Over my temples; but soon, now,
The grove entire will bloom about
My head, to shade my withered brow.
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Smoke
Over there, trees are sheltering
A hunchedback hut... A slum, no more...
Roof askew, walls and wainscoting
Falling away... Moss hides the door.

Only one shutter, hanging... But
Seeping over the windowsill,
Like frosted breath, proof that this hut,
This slum, is living, breathing still.
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Study in Hands
I

Imperia

I saw a plaster hand, on view
In sculptor’s studio, set apart...
Aspasia’s? Cleopatra’s?... Who?
This fragment’s human work of art?

Like lily silvered by the dawn,
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