On a street in a city you dreamed
It will be like having lived before
A moment at once vague and sharp ...
O this sun rising amidst mist,
That call across waves, voice in the woods ...
As if all causes were suspended,
A slow awakening after more than one incarnation.
Things will be more themselves than before
In that street in the magical city
Where barrel organs will grind out jigs,
Where a cat will sit on every counter
And wind bands march back and forth.
It will be so inevitable you fear you’ll die of it,
Sweet tears pouring down your cheeks,
Sobbing laughter in a riot of carriage wheels,
Calling on death to come quickly,
Rehashed words like a faded nosegay.
The din of public dances will start up,
And country widows with burnished foreheads
Will shove past the streetwalkers
Loitering and chatting with cornerboys
And crumbly old men with no eyebrows,
While a stone’s throw away amid odours of piss
Firecrackers announce the festivities.
It will be like waking on the grass in summer,
And sleeping again and dreaming again
The same pantomime and the same scenery,
The rumour of bee-flight like watered silk.
Paul Verlaine 1873