by Paul Verlaine
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
The roses were so very red;
The ivy, impossibly black.
Dear, with a mere a turn of your head,
My despair’s flooded back!
The sky was too gentle, too blue;
The sea, far too windswept and green.
Yet I always imagined―or knew―
I’d again feel your spleen.
Now I'm tired of the glossy waxed holly,
Of the shimmering boxwood too,
Of the meadowland’s endless folly,
When all things, alas, lead to you!
Paul-Marie Verlaine (1844-1896) was a French poet and a prominent figure in the Symbolist and Decadent poetry movements. Verlaine has been called "one of the most purely lyrical of French poets." Keywords/Tags: Verlaine, French, translation, spleen, roses, ivy, despair, sky, sea, blue, green, red, black, holly, boxwood