Paul Verlaine: "Mechelin"

(Romances Sans Paroles: Paysages Belges, Malines)

By bright fields, the winds fight
With the wind-vanes, fine detail,
The mansion of some magistrate,
Red of brick, and slate-blue light
By the fields, fields without fail!

Like the woods of magic-shows,
Ash, vague bursts of foliage,
Spread to the horizon’s edge,
In this Sahara of meadows,
Clover, lucerne, and pale sedge.

The carts file by in silence
All through these calm ways,
Doze, cows! Now sleep away,
Mild bulls of plains immense,
Under your skies, scarcely day!

The train slides by, not a murmur,
Each wagon here is a salon
Where one speaks softly, and where one
Loves, at leisure, that Nature
Made to suit for Fénelon.

August 1872

Rainer Maria Rilke: "Love Song"

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.