Charles Baudelaire

All of Her

The Devil into my high room This morning came to pay a call, And trying to find me in fault Said: "I should like to know, Among all the beautiful things Which make her an enchantress, Among the objects black or rose That compose her charming body, Which is the sweetest." - O my soul! You answered the loathsome Creature: "Since in Her all is dittany, No single thing can be preferred. When all delights me, I don't know If some one thing entrances me. She dazzles like the Dawn And consoles like the Night; And the harmony that governs Her whole body is too lovely For impotent analysis To note its numerous accords. O mystic metamorphosis Of all my senses joined in one! Her breath makes music, And her voice makes perfume!" Translated by - William Aggeler Tout Entière This morning in my attic high The Demon came to visit me, And seeking faults in my reply, He said: "I would inquire of thee, "Of all the beauties which compose Her charming body's potent spell, Of all the objects black and rose Which make the thing you love so well, "Which is the sweetest?" O my soul! Thou didst rejoin: "How tell of parts, When all I know is that the whole Works magic in my heart of hearts? "Where all is fair, how should I say What single grace is my delight? She shines on me like break of day And she consoles me as the night. "There flows through all her perfect frame A harmony too exquisite That weak analysis should name The numberless accords of it. "O mystic metamorphosis! My separate senses all are blent; Within her breath soft music is, And in her voice a subtle scent!" Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Tout entière this morning, to my chamber bare and high, the Devil came to call, and fain to trap me in a snare, inquired: "I would know, of all - of all the beauties that compose her spell profound, her subtle sway, - of all the bits of black or rose that form her lovely body, say which is the sweetest?" - o my soul, thou didst reply to the Abhorred: naught can be taken from the whole for every part is a perfect chord. when all to me is ravishing, I know not which gives most delight. like dawn she is a dazzling thing, yet she consoles me like the night; too exquisite the harmonies that all her lovely flesh affords, for my poor mind to analyse and note its many rhythmic chords. o mystic interchange, whereby my senses all are blent in one! her breath is like a lullaby and through her voice rich perfumes run! Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks All Entire The Demon, in my lofty vault, This morning came to visit me, And striving me to find at fault, He said, "Fain would I know of thee; "Among the many beauteous things, - All which subtle grace proclaim — Among the dark and rosy things, Which go to make her charming frame, "Which is the sweetest unto thee"? My soul! to Him thou didst retort - "Since all with her is destiny, Of preference there can be nought. When all transports me with delight, If aught deludes I can not know, She either lulls one like the Night, Or dazzles like the Morning-glow. That harmony is too divine, Which governs all her body fair, For powerless mortals to define In notes the many concords there. O mystic metamorphosis Of all my senses blent in one! Her voice a beauteous perfume is, Her breath makes music, chaste and wan. Translated by - Cyril Scott All, All The Devil up my attic stair Came tiptoeing a while ago And, trying to catch me unaware, Said laughing, "I should like to know, "Of all her many charms, what springs Most often to your mind? Of all The rose-colored and shadowy things Whereby her beauty may enthrall, "Which is the sweetest?" - O my soul, You answered the abhorrèd Guest: "Her beauty is complete and whole. No single part is loveliest. "When she is near, I cannot say What gives me such intense delight. She dazzles like the break of day, She comforts like the fall of night. "My senses seem to merge in one; The harmony that rules her being Is all my knowledge - I have none Of hearing, smelling, touching, seeing. "No, no. I cannot make a choice In this sublime bewilderment. Perhaps the music of her scent! Perhaps the perfume of her voice!" Translated by - George Dillon All in One The Demon called on me this morning, In my high room. As is his way, Thinking to catch me without warning, He put this question: "Tell me, pray, Of all the beauties that compose, The strange enchantment of her ways, Amongst the wonders black or rose, Which object most excites your praise, And is the climax in her litany?" My soul, you answered the Abhorred, "Since she is fashioned, all, of dittany, No part is most to be adored. Since I am ravished, I ignore a Degree of difference in delight. She dazzles me like the aurora And she consoles me like the night. The harmony's so exquisite That governs her, it is in vain Analysis would try to split The unity of such a strain. O mystic fusion that, enwreathing My senses, fuses each in each, To hear the music of her breathing And breathe the perfume of her speech." Translated by - Roy Campbell

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