City

City

I
am an ephemeral

and a not too discontented citizen

of a metropolis considered modern

because all known taste

has been evaded in the furnishings

and the exterior of the houses

as well as in the layout of the city.

Here you will fail to detect the least trace

of any monument of superstition.

Morals and language

are reduced to their simplest expression,

at
last! The way these millions of people,

who do not even need to know each other,

manage their education, business,

and old age is so identical

that the course of their lives

must be several times less long

than that which a mad statistics

calculates for the people of the continent.

And from my window I see new specters rolling through

the thick eternal smoke–

our woodland shade, our summer night!–

new Eumenides in front of my cottage

which is my country and all my heart

since everything here resembles it,–

Death without tears,

our diligent daughter and servant,

a desperate Love, and a pretty

Crime howling in the mud in the street.