Jules Laforgue

(1860-1887 / France)

The Song of a Little Boy With a Hypertrophied Heart - Poem by Jules Laforgue

MY mammy, says the Doctor,
Died because something shocked her,
My poor mamma.
He says I too shall go
To sleep with her below,
And when my heart beats so,
It's mammy calling!

When I go out, they all
Say: Why he's going to fall.
Poor little chappy,
He's drunk and happy!
For every step I take
I stagger, choke, and ache,
My heart is all a-shake,
It's mammy calling!

I go out of the town
To see the sun sink down,
I shouldn't do it,
But I don't rue it.
The sun's a heart, I say,
Bleeding its blood away!
My heart beats night and day,
It's mammy calling!

If little Eleanore
Would take my heart before
It bursts inside me!
She can't abide me,
For I'm a hopeless case,
And she's a rosy face,
My heart goes such a pace,
It's mammy calling!

No, they all make me smart,
Except the sunset's heart,
And my mamma.
O how I wish to go
To sleep with her below!
My heart is beating so,
Mammy, ain't it you a-calling?

translated by Jethro Bithell

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 20, 2016

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