Last Lines

O seasons, O castles,
What soul is blameless?

O seasons, O castles,

I pursued the magic lore
Of Happiness, which no one escapes.

Oh long live to it, everytime
That the Gallic cock crows.

But! I shall never want again,
It has taken charge of my life.

That Charm! it took hold of soul and body,
And dissipated every effort.

What to understand about my words?
It makes it flee and vanish into air!

O seasons, O castles!

[And, if misfortune takes me away,
Its disgrace with me will be certain.

Its contempt will take me, alas!
To the quickest death!

– O seasons, O castles!
What soul is blameless?]**

* Title of the rough work of Alchemy of the word.
** The end of the poem has been cross out.
- Rimbaud wrote a slightly different version in a Season in hell (Alchemy of the word).
- As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962).

French version