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Maurice Carème, from Defying Fate

Celui qu'il attendait

Il ne savait pas s'il viendrait,
Encor moins s'il était venu.
Il attendait sans amertume,
Les pieds tournés vers les chenets.

Un matin, on heurta la porte.
Il ouvrit. Un homme avançait
Aussi léger qu'une âme morte.
Il vint s'asseoir près des chenets

Et demeura ainsi, muet,
Longtemps, se chauffant près du feu,
En le regardant dans les yeux.

Mais lorsque soudain l'inconnu
Sortit sans le moindre bruit,
Il se demanda si celui

Qu'il attendait était venu.

The one he was waiting for

He didn't know whether he would come,
Even less whether he had come.
He waited without bitterness,
His feet turned towards the firedogs.

One morning, there was a knock at the door.
He opened. A man stepped in
As insubstantial as a dead soul.
He came and sat by the firedogs

And stayed there, dumb,
For a long time, warming himself by the fire,
Looking him right in the eyes.

But when the stranger suddenly
Left quite soundlessly,
He wondered whether the one

He was waiting for had been and gone.