“After Stéphane Mallarmé, after Paul Verlaine, after Gustave Moreau, after Puvis de Chavannes, after our own verse, after all our subtle colour and nervous rhythm, after the faint mixed tints of Conder, what more is possible? After us the Savage God.”
–William Butler Yeats
Strange that. The mention of Verlaine, leaving unmentioned his lover, Rimbaud… perhaps unaware the Savage God was present, not future? And who has ever heard of Conder?
All works in post by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes:
by Paul Verlaine
Memory, memory what do you want of me? Autumn
Makes the thrush fly through the colorless air,
And the sun casts its monotonous glare
On the yellowing woods where the north winds hum.
We were alone, and walking in dream,
She and I, hair and thoughts wind-blown.
Then, turning her troubling gaze on me,
“Your loveliest day?” in her voice of fine gold,
Her voice, with its angel’s tone, fresh, vibrant, sweet.
I gave her my answer, a smile so discreet,
And kissed her white hand with devotion.
–Ah! The first flowers, what a fragrance they have!
And how charming the murmured emotion
Of a first “yes” let slip from lips that we love!
The Tomb of Charles Baudelaire
by Stéphane Mallarmé
The buried shrine shows at its sewer-mouth’s
Sepulchral slobber of mud and rubies
Some abominable statue of Anubis,
The muzzle lit like a ferocious snout
Or as when a dubious wick twists in the new gas,
Wiping out, as we know, the insults suffered
Haggardly lighting an immortal pubis,
Whose flight roosts according to the lamp
What votive leaves, dried in cities without evening
Could bless, as she can, vainly sitting
Against the marble of Baudelaire
Shuddering absent from the veil that clothes her
She, his Shade, a protective poisonous air
Always to be breathed, although we die of her.