At the Green Inn, Five in the Evening

The Waitress

For a whole week I had ripped up my boots
On the stones of the roads. I walked into Charleroi;
Into the Green Inn: I asked for some slices
Of bread and butter, and some half-cooled ham.

Happy, I stuck out my legs under the green
table: I studied the artless patterns of the
Wallpaper - and it was charming when the girl
With the huge breasts and lively eyes,

- A kiss wouldn't scare that one! -
Smilingly brought me some bread and butter
And lukewarm ham, on a coloured plate; -

Pink and white ham, scented with a clove of garlic -
And filled my huge beer mug, whose froth was turned
Into gold by a ray of late sunshine.

Arthur Rimbaud

October 70

- As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962)

French version