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The Clock

Clock ! Sinister god, terrifying, impassive,
Whose finger threatens us and says: "Remember !
The quivering Sorrows will soon be shot
Into your fearful heart, as into a target;
"Nebulous pleasure will flee toward the horizon
Like an actress who disappears into the wings;
Every instant devours a piece of the pleasure
Granted to every man for his entire season."
"Three thousand six hundred times an hour, Second
Whispers: Remember ! — Immediately
With his insect voice, Now says: I am the Past
And I have sucked out your life with my filthy trunk !"
"Remember ! Souviens-toi, spendthrift ! Esto memor !
(My metal throat can speak all languages)
Minutes, blithesome mortal, are bits of ore
That you must not release without extracting the gold !"
"Remember, Time is a greedy player
Who wins without cheating, every round ! It's the law.
The daylight wanes; the night deepens; remember!
The abyss thirsts always; the water-clock runs low."
"Soon will sound the hour when divine Chance,
When august Virtue, your still virgin wife,
When even Repentance (the very last of inns !),
When all will say: Die, old coward! it is too late !"
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