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Poldowski Colombine


Colombine by Paul Verlaine

Léandre le sot,
Pierrot qui d’un saut,
De puce
Franchit le buisson,
Cassandre sous son
Capuce,

Arlequin aussi,
Cet aigrefin si
Fantasque
Aux costumes fous,
Ses yeux luisants sous
Son masque,

– Do, mi, sol, mi, fa, –
Tout ce monde va,
Rit, chante
Et danse devant
Une belle enfant
Méchante

Dont les yeux pervers
Comme les yeux verts
Des chattes
Gardent ses appas
Et disent: “À bas
Les pattes!” –

Eux ils vont toujours! – Fatidique cours
Des astres,
Oh! dis-moi vers quels
Mornes ou cruels
Désastres
L’implacable enfant,
Preste et relevant
Ses jupes,
La rose au chapeau,
Conduit son troupeau
De dupes?

Colombine  translation by A. S. Kline

Leander the fool,
Pierrot hopping too
Like a flea
And leaping the wood,
Cassander with hood
Monkishly,

And then Harlequin,
That scoundrel of sin
Fantastic,
Mad-costumed so,
His eyes a-glow,
Can’t mask it,

– Do, mi, so, mi, fa –
All from wide and far,
Go laughing
Sing for her, dancing
That arch little thing
Enchanting

Whose eyes perverse
Green or something worse
Like a cat,
Cry, in her charms’ cause,
‘Ah, mind where your paws
Are at!’

– Ever and on they go!
Fateful stars that flow
The faster,
Oh, say, towards what
Cruel or dismal lot,
What disaster

This implacable flirt,
Nimbly lifting her skirt,
Her troops,
A rose in her hair,
Leads onward there,
Her dupes?

Learn about Poldowski here.


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