Is she an Almah?...

Is she an Almah?... in the first blue hours
Will she destroy herself like flowers of fire...
In front of the splendid sweep where one may smell
The enormous flowering city's breath!

It's too beautiful! It's too beautiful! but it is necessary
- For the Fisherwoman* and the Corsair's song,
And also because the last masqueraders still believed
In nocturnal festivities on the pure sea!

July 1872.

- *Fisherwoman means pêcheuse in French, as Rimbaud wrote it in the poem. Oliver Bernard translated it as Woman of Sin, which means pêcheresse.
- As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962)

French version