Charles Baudelaire


Nature is a temple in which living pillars Sometimes give voice to confused words; Man passes there through forests of symbols Which look at him with understanding eyes. Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance In a deep and tenebrous unity, Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day, Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond. There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children, Sweet as oboes, green as meadows - And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant, With power to expand into infinity, Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin, That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses. Translated by - William Aggeler Correspondences Nature is a temple where living pillars Let sometimes emerge confused words; Man crosses it through forests of symbols Which watch him with intimate eyes. Like those deep echoes that meet from afar In a dark and profound harmony, As vast as night and clarity, So perfumes, colors, tones answer each other. There are perfumes fresh as children's flesh, Soft as oboes, green as meadows, And others, corrupted, rich, triumphant, Possessing the diffusion of infinite things, Like amber, musk, incense and aromatic resin, Chanting the ecstasies of spirit and senses. Translated by - Geoffrey Wagner Correspondances Nature's a fane where down each corridor of living pillars, darkling whispers roll, - a symbol-forest every pilgrim soul must pierce, 'neath gazing eyes it knew before. like echoes long that from afar rebound, merged till one deep low shadowy note is born, vast as the night or as the fires of morn, sound calls to fragrance, colour calls to sound. cool as an infant's brow some perfumes are, softer than oboes, green as rainy leas; others, corrupt, exultant, rich, unbar wide infinities wherein we move at ease: - musk, ambergris, frankincense, benjamin chant all our soul or sense can revel in. Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks Echoes In Nature's temple, living columns rise, Which oftentimes give tongue to words subdued, And Man traverses this symbolic wood, Which looks at him with half familiar eyes, Like lingering echoes, which afar confound Themselves in deep and sombre unity, As vast as Night, and like transplendency, The scents and colours to each other respond. And scents there are, like infant's flesh as chaste, As sweet as oboes, and as meadows fair, And others, proud, corrupted, rich and vast, Which have the expansion of infinity, Like amber, musk and frankincense and myrrh, That sing the soul's and senses' ecstasy. Translated by - Cyril Scott Correspondences In Nature's temple, living pillars rise, Speaking sometimes in words of abstruse sense; Man walks through woods of symbols, dark and dense, Which gaze at him with fond familiar eyes. Like distant echoes blent in the beyond In unity, in a deep darksome way, Vast as black night and vast as splendent day, Perfumes and sounds and colors correspond. Some scents are cool as children's flesh is cool, Sweet as are oboes, green as meadowlands, And others rich, corrupt, triumphant, full, Expanding as infinity expands: Benzoin or musk or amber that incenses, Hymning the ecstasy of soul and senses. Translated by - Jacques LeClercq Correspondences All nature is one temple, the living aisles whereof Murmur in a soft language, half strange, half understood; Man wanders there as through a cabalistic wood, Aware of eyes that watch him in the leaves above. Like voices echoing in his senses from beyond Life's watery source, and which into one voice unite, Vast as the turning planet clothed in darkness and light, So do all sounds and hues and fragrances correspond. Perfumes there are as sweet as the music of pipes and strings, As pure as the naked flesh of children, as full of peace As wide green prairies - and there are others, having the whole Corrupt proud all-pervasiveness of infinite things, Like frankincense, and musk, and myrrh, and ambergris, That cry of the ecstasy of the body and of the soul. Translated by - George Dillon Correspondences Nature's a temple where each living column, At times, gives forth vague words. There Man advances Through forest-groves of symbols, strange and solemn, Who follow him with their familiar glances. As long-drawn echoes mingle and transfuse Till in a deep, dark unison they swoon, Vast as the night or as the vault of noon - So are commingled perfumes, sounds, and hues. There can be perfumes cool as children's flesh, Like fiddIes, sweet, like meadows greenly fresh. Rich, complex, and triumphant, others roll With the vast range of all non-finite things - Amber, musk, incense, benjamin, each sings The transports of the senses and the soul. Translated by - Roy Campbell

Don't have an account?

You will be identified by the alias - name will be hidden