(Le Dormeur du Val)
Green vale where a river sings like a choir,
Flirting with grasses, those tattered rags
Of silver; where the sun, from hills of fire,
Shines; green vale where rays flash even in crags!
A young soldier, mouth open, naked head,
Sleeps; he’s stretched in grass under skies,
Neck bathing in a blue watercress bed−
He’s pale in his green bed where the light cries.
His feet in gladiolus, sleep enfolds
Him, smiling like a sick child taking rest.
Nature, rock the child warmly, he’s cold.
Sweet smells don’t make his nostrils quiver wide,
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his chest,
Tranquil. He has two red holes in his right side.
(translated from the French by Day Williams)