Charles Baudelaire

A Fantastic Print

That strange specter wears nothing more Than a diadem, atrocious and tawdry, Grotesquely fixed on his skeleton brow. Without spurs, without whip, he winds a horse, A phantom like himself, an apocalyptic steed That foams at the nostrils like an epileptic. Both of them are plunging through space And trampling on the infinite with daring feet. The horseman is waving a flaming sword Over the nameless crowds who are crushed by his mount And examines like a prince inspecting his house, The graveyard, immense and cold, with no horizon, Where lie, in the glimmer of a white, lifeless sun, The races of history, ancient and modern. Translated by - William Aggeler Fantastic Print This eerie specter wears no clothes at all. A dreadful crown, reeking of carnival, Sits weirdly on his naked skull. Without Or spurs or whip, he wears his charger out (A ghostly and apocalyptic nag, Nose foaming like an epileptic hag). The hideous pair plunge ruthlessly through space, Trampling infinity at breakneck pace. The horseman's flaming sword, as on they rush, Fells victims that his steed has failed to crush, And, like a prince inspecting his domain, He scans the graveyard's limitless chill plain Where, in a dull white sun's exhausted light, Lies every race since man emerged from night. Translated by - Jacques LeClercq Fantastic Engraving A monstrous spectre carries on his forehead, And at a rakish tilt, grotesquely horrid, A crown such as at carnivals parade. Without a Whip or spur he rides a jade, A phantom-like apocalyptic moke, Whose nostrils seem with rabid froth to smoke. Across unbounded space the couple moves Spurning infinity with reckless hooves. The horseman waves a sword that lights the gloom Of nameless crowds he tramples to their doom, And, like a prince his mansion, goes inspecting The graveyard, which, no skyline intersecting, Contains, beneath a sun that's white and bleak, Peoples of history, modem and antique. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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