Le Dormeur du Val/The Sleeper in the Valley

Rimbaud, Arthur

Read By: Chef Jacques Pépin

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.

 

It is a green hollow where a river sings
Madly catching on the grasses
Silver rags; where the sun shines from the proud mountain:
It is a small valley which bubbles over with rays.

A young soldier, his mouth open, his head bare,
And the nape of his neck bathing in the cool blue watercress,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under clouds,
Pale on his green bed where the light rains down.

His feet in the gladiolas, he sleeps. Smiling as
A sick child would smile, he is taking a nap:
Nature, cradle him warmly: he is cold.

Odors do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast,
Quieted. There are two red holes in his right side.

  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • 19th Century
  • French
  • English
  • War
  • Nature
  • Poetry
  • Death
  • Youth
  • Favorite Poem Project

Translated by Wallace Fowlie, Rimbaud: Complete Works, Collected Letters (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966).