You who have heard the heartbeat of the night,
you who have heard, in the long, sleepless hours,
A closing door, the rumble of distant wheels,
A vague echo, a wandering sound from somewhere:
You, in the moments of mysterious silence,
When the forgotten ones issue from their prison--
In the hour of the dead, In the hour of repose--
Will know how to read the bitterness in my verses.
I fill them, as one would fill a glass, with all
My grief for remote memories and black misfortunes,
The nostalgia of my flower-intoxicated soul
And the pain of a heart grown sorrowful with fêtes;
With the burden of not being what I might have been,
The loss of the kingdom that was awaiting me,
The thought of the instant when I might not have been born
And the dream my life has been ever since I was!
All this has come in the midst of that boundless silence
In which the night develops earthly illusions,
And I feel as if an echo of the world's heart
Had penetrated and disturbed my own.