Translation: Le Dormeur du val by Arthur Rimbaud

The Sleeper of the Vale

It’s a gully of green where sings a river
Desperately hanging on the grass its rags
Of silver; where the sun, from the proud mount,
Shines: it’s a little vale that foams of rays.

A young soldier, mouth open, head bare,
And his neck bathing in the cool blue cress,
Sleeps; he is stretched out in the grass, ‘neath the sky,
Pale on his green bed where the light rains.

His feet in the gladiolas, he sleeps. Smiling like
A sick child smiles, he takes a snooze:
Nature, cradle him warmly: he is cold.

The scents do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, one hand on his peaceful
Chest. He has two red holes in his right side.

translated by Alexandre Rodallec


Le Dormeur du val

C’est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière
Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons
D’argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,
Luit : c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,
Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,
Dort ; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue,
Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme
Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme :
Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.

 -Arthur Rimbaud

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7 Comments

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