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THESE last few days I have not had one letter;
No one has thought of writing, in the town.
O! I was not expecting anything;
I can exist and think in isolation,
My mind, to blaze and sparkle, does not wait
Till someone throws a blackened sheet to it.


Yet I am short of a familiar pleasure;
My hands are happy when I break a letter;
My skin is thrilled to touch the paper where,
Among the folded pages, lingers yet
The immaterial presence of another.


And for three days that I have had no letter
I have been gliding slowly into vague
Uneasiness, embarassment of being,
As if I were ashamed of my own self.
Intangible remorse weighs on my heart,
Which was not far from thinking itself good.
My arms are heavy, lax; I dare not smile:
The air seems to be angry when I breathe it.
The love around me, and the strength within me,
Disperse. The town, forgetting me, rebukes me.
No one is thinking of me anywhere,
No more I am save in my wretched frame.
There is an evil tingling in my soul,
An itching in my brain, my fingers' ends.
As if ...--what have I done to merit it!--
The city's blood were ebbing out of me.