Clair de Lune
by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
        Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
        Of being sad in their fantastic trim.

The while they celebrate in minor strain
        Triumphant love, effective enterprise,
They have an air of knowing all is vain;
        And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise--

The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone,
        That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,
And in their polished basins of white stone
        The fountains tall to sob with ecstacy.

Translated by Gertrude Hall