A butterfly alighted on the muzzle of a cannon. It was so bright and beautiful, it looked like a tinted symbol of the Deity . . . a token of the good Lord, Who sits Above, and paints gay butterflies.

So, the butterfly alighted on the muzzle of a cannon, and—nothing more.

No, Messieurs et mesdames, nothing more. Unless I tell you that the gay butterfly afterwards lighted on the bleeding head of a young poet and reddened its wing . . .

Translated by Joseph Kling (1920)


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