Eugene Levich


Song of the Ingénues... by Paul Verlaine


We are the Ingénues.
We’ve lots of ribbons and eyes of blue;
And live generally unknown
In novels read by very, very few.

We walk along with arms enlaced
And the daylight is no more pure
Than the profundity of our opinions
And our nightly dreams are of azure.

We run through the meadows
And we laugh and we babble
From dawn to vespers;
And we chase after butterflies.

And our shepherdesses’ hats
Protect our freshness;
And our dresses – so light!
Are extremely white.

The Richelieux, the Caussades
And the cavaliers Faublas
Give us the eye,
Salutes, and sigh “Alas! ”

But in vain, and their mimicry
Gets them a retort in their noses
From the ironic folds
Of our departing dresses.

And our naiveté mocks
At the imaginations
Of these wall skulkers,
Although sometimes we feel

Our hearts beating under our mantles
At thoughts that are clandestine
That we will no doubt some day
Be the lovers of libertines.

La Chanson Des Ingénues

Paul Verlaine

Nous sommes les Ingénues
Aux bandeaux plats, à l’œil bleu,
Qui vivons, presque inconnues,
Dans les romans qu’on lit peu.

Nous allons entrelacées,
Et le jour n’est pas plus pur
Que le fond de nos pensées,
Et nos rêves sont d’azur;

Et nous courons par les prés
Et rions et babillons
Des aubes jusqu’aux vesprées,
Et chassons aux papillons;

Et des chapeaux de bergères
Défendent notre fraîcheur,
Et nos robes—si légères—
Sont d’une extrême blancheur;

Les Richelieux, les Caussades
Et les chevaliers Faublas
Nous prodiguent les oeillades,
Les saluts et les «hélas! »

Mais en vain, et leurs mimiques
Se viennent casser le nez
Devant les plis ironiques
De nos jupons détournés;

Et notre candeur se raille
Des imaginations
De ces raseurs de muraille,
Bien que parfois nous sentions

Battre nos cœurs sous nos mantes
A des pensers clandestins,
En nous sachant les amantes
Futures des libertins.

Submitted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The Cavalier de Faublas was the primary character in an 18th Century erotic novel, Les amours du chevalier de Faublas [The loves of the cavalier Faublas] by Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray. I assume that the two other parties mentioned were similar types.

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