Arthur Rimbaud

(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891 / Charleville, Ardennes)

Tale - Poem by Arthur Rimbaud

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A Prince was vexed at having devoted himself
only to the perfection of ordinary generosities.
He foresaw astonishing revolutions of love
and suspected his women of being able to do better
than their habitual acquiescence embellished by heaven and luxury.
He wanted to see the truth, the hour of essential desire and gratification.
Whether this was an aberration of piety or not,
that is what he wanted. Enough worldly power, at least, he had.
All the women who had known him were assassinated;
what havoc in the garden of beauty! At the point of the sword they blessed him.
He did not order new ones.-- The women reappeared.
He killed all those who followed him, after the hunt or the libations.--

All followed him. He amused himself cutting the throats of rare animals.
He set palaces on fire. He would rush upon people and hack them to pieces.--
The throngs, the gilded roofs, the beautiful animals still remained.
Can one be in ecstasies over destruction and by cruelty rejuvenated!
The people did not complain. No one offered him the benefit of his views.
One evening he was proudly galloping.
A Genie appeared, of ineffable beauty, unwavorable even.
In his face and in his bearing shone the promise of a complex and multiple love!
of an indescribable happiness, unendurable, even.

The Prince and the Genie annihilated each other probably in essential health.
How could they have helped dying of it?
Together then they died.
But this Prince died in his palace at an ordinary age,
the Prince was the Genie, the Genie was the Prince.--
There is no sovereign music for our desire.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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