Charles Baudelaire: “The Sorrows of the Moon”

The Sorrows of the Moon

Tonight the languid moon dreams and lingers,
Like a beautiful woman on a couch who rests,
Before falling asleep, with her careless fingers
Caressing the outline of her breasts.

On the back of billowing satin cascades,
She fades and falls into a deeper swoon,
Letting her eyes glide over white, ghostly shades
That float through the air like flowers in bloom.

And sometimes, when in her lazy trance,
She lets a tear fall to the earth by chance,
Some pious poet, whose sleep won’t come

Seizes the pale drop in his palm clenched tight
Around its opal iridescence of light
And he hides it in his heart from the eyes of the sun.

Charles Baudelaire

Translated from French by Paul Weinfield, © 2013

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