io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

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Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

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Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

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Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

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Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question ...

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Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

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The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

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Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

And seeing that it was a soft October night,

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Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time

For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,

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Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

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There will be time to murder and create,

And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate;

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Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

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Before the taking of a toast and tea.

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

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Time to turn back and descend the stair,

With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —

(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)

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My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,

My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —

(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)

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Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

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For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

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I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

I know the voices dying with a dying fall

Beneath the music from a farther room.

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So how should I presume?