Venice masks

Monday, 23 June 2014

To a Creole Lady - Charles Baudelaire

In a country perfumed with the sun’s embrace,
I knew ‘neath a dais of purpled palms,
And branches where idleness weeps o’er one’s face,
A Creolean lady of unknown charms.

Her tint, pale and warm—this bewitching bride,
Displays a nobly nurtured mien,
Courageous and grand like a huntsman, her stride;
A tranquil smile and eyes serene.

If, madam, you’d go to the true land of gain,
By the banks of the verdant Loire or the Seine,
How worthy to garnish some pile of renown.

You’d awake in the calm of some shadowy nest,
A thousand songs in the poet’s breast,
That your eyes would inspire far more than your brown.

Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867) France
Translated by Ceril Scott, 1919.

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