by Paul Verlaine
“Memory, memory, what do you want of me? Autumn
Makes the thrush fly through colourless 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!”
Paul Verlaine was born on this day in 1844, you can read more of his work through Surrey Libraries.