Arthur Rimbaud

(20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891 / Charleville, Ardennes)

At The Green Inn, Five In The Evening (Au Cabaret-Vert, Cinq Heures Du Soir)


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-cooked 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.


Original French

Au Cabaret-Vert, cinq heures du soir.


Depuis huit jours, j'avais déchiré mes bottines
Aux cailloux des chemins. J'entrais à Charleroi.
- Au Cabaret-Vert : je demandai des tartines
Du beurre et du jambon qui fût à moitié froid.

Bienheureux, j'allongeai les jambes sous la table
Verte : je contemplai les sujets très naïfs
De la tapisserie. - Et ce fut adorable,
Quand la fille aux tétons énormes, aux yeux vifs,

- Celle-là, ce n'est pas un baiser qui l'épeure ! -
Rieuse, m'apporta des tartines de beurre,
Du jambon tiède, dans un plat colorié,

Du jambon rose et blanc parfumé d'une gousse
D'ail, - et m'emplit la chope immense, avec sa mousse
Que dorait un rayon de soleil arriéré.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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