The Sleeper in the Valley

The Sleeper in the Valley

It is a green
hollow where a stream gurgles,

crazily catching silver rags of itself on the grasses;

where the sun shines from the proud mountain:

it is a little valley bubbling over with light.

A young soldier, open-mouthed, bare-headed,

with the nape of his neck bathed in cool blue cresses, sleeps;

he is stretched out on the grass, under the sky,

pale on his green bed where the light falls like rain.

His feet in the yellow flags, he lies sleeping.

Smiling as a sick child might smile, he is having a nap.

Cradle him warmly, Nature; he is cold.

No odour makes his nostrils quiver;

he sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast, at peace.

There are two red holes in his right side.