Alfred de Musset

(1810-1857 / France)

To Saint-Beuve


Friend, you have spoken well: in us, such as we are,
There frequently exists a certain flower
That blossoms, fades and from the heart its leaves are shed.
'In three quarters of mankind, you must understand,
A poet has died young who is outlived by the man.'
Well said, my friend - and a little too well said.

You didn't pay attention, lining out your thought,
That your pen made poetry then and there, unsought.
In his own tongue you took Apollo's name in vain.
I betray you to your injured Muse: Read again,
And remember that in all of us frequently there keeps
A poet young and vibrant, who is not dead, but sleeps.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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