Sully Prudhomme

Broken Vase

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The vase where this verbena is dying
was cracked by a blow from a fan.
It must have barely brushed it,
for it made no sound.

But the slight wound,
biting into the crystal day by day,
surely, invisibly crept
slowly all around it.

The clear water leaked out drop by drop.
The flowers' sap was exhausted.
Still no one suspected anything.
Don't touch! It's broken.

Thus often does the hand we love,
barely touching the heart, wound it.
Then the heart cracks by itself
and the flower of its love dies.

Still intact in the eyes of the world,
it feels its wound, narrow and deep,
grow and softly cry.
It's broken. Don't touch!

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Sully Prudhomme