LES CHERCHEUSES DE POUX
AFTER ARTHUR RIMBAULD
When, forehead full of torments hot and red,
The child invokes white crowds of hazy dreams,
Two sisters tall and sweet draw near his bed,
Whose fingers frail nails tip with silv’ry gleams.
The child before a window open wide,
Where blue air bathes a maze of flowers, they sit;
And in his heavy hair dew falls, while glide
Their fingers terrible with charm through it.
So hears he sing their breath which dread hush curbs;
How rich with rose and leafy sweets it is!
It sometimes a salival lisp disturbs
On th’ lip drawn back, or deep desires to kiss.
Through perfumed silences their lashes black
Beat slow; from soft electric fingers he,
In colourless grey indolence, hears crack
’Neath tyrant nails the death of each small flea.
Then wells in him the wine of idleness,
Delirious power, the harmonica’s soft sigh:
The child still feels to their long drawn caress
Ceaselessly heave and swoon a wish to cry.
Moore, T. Sturge. “Les Chercheuses de Poux.” The Dial, vol. 2, 1892, p. 17. Dial Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/dialv2-moore-poux/