A Sleeper in the Valley by Robert Mezey


Thereís a hole in the foliage through which you can hear the streamís

Gush and burble as it drapes the bank with tattered silvery rags,

Where the sun gleams down from the towering mountain crags.

A quiet little glen suffused in the radiance of its beams.


A young soldier, his mouth open, helmet gone,

The nape of his neck bathed in cool blue watercress,

Sleeps beneath a cloud, sprawled out on the grass,

Pale on his green bed drenched in the light of the sun.


Feet among the lilies, he sleeps, pacified

And smiling as a sick child might smile--he needs his rest.

Rock him warmly, leafy world: he is cold as the river.


No more will your deep scents make his nostrils quiver.

He sleeps in sunlight, one hand resting on his chest,

At peace.  And two small red holes in his right side.


                                                                 after Rimbaud

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Robert Mezey


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