I have before me two photos of Verlaine at the Café Francois 1er. From one I have done several drawings and paintings. In that photo Verlaine is leaning back with his head against the edge of the top of the bench on which he is sitting. He is staring upward into space, dreaming. No one else is visible in the café. He looks relaxed, not wanting for anything. Whatever was going to happen has happened.
Qu’a-tu fait ô toi que voilà
Pleurant sans cesse
Dis, qu’as-tu fait, toi que voilà,
De ta jeunesse?*
* "What have you done, you, weeping there
Your endless tears?
Tell me, what have you done, you there,
With youth’s best years?"
—Paul Verlaine, “Above the roof the sky is fair…” translated by Norman R. Shapiro, One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine (U. of Chicago Press, 1999).