Charles Baudelaire

Gloomy Madrigal

I What's it to me that you are sage? Be beautiful! and be sad! Tears Add a charm to the countenance As a stream does to a landscape; Storms make the flowers fresh again. I love you most of all when joy Flees from your oppressed brow, When your heart is drowned in horror, When the frightful cloud of the Past Is spread out over your Present. I love you when your large eyes shed Tears as hot as blood, when In spite of my hand which lulls you Your unbearable pain comes through Like a dying man's death-rattle. I breathe in, heavenly pleasure! Profound, delightful hymn! Every sob from your breast And I believe your heart lights up With the pearls that your eyes pour out! II I know, your heart, overflowing With old, uprooted loves, Still blazes like a forge And that there smolders in your breast Something of the pride of the damned; But my sweet, so long as your dreams Have not reflected Hell, While in a nightmare without respite, Dreaming of poisons and daggers, Enamored with powder and steel, Answering the door fearfully, Seeing misfortune everywhere, Convulsing when the hour strikes, You have not felt yourself embraced By irresistible Disgust; You cannot, slave and queen Who love me only with terror, In the unhealthy night's horror Say to me, your soul full of cries, "I am your equal, O my King!" Translated by - William Aggeler Madrigal triste I what care I, love, that thou be wise? be fair! be sad! for tears contain an added charm in lovely eyes, like vales a river glorifies; the rose is fresher in the rain. I love thee best when joy has fled thy cowering brow and eyes aghast; when all thy heart is drowned in dread; when life for thee is overspread by dreadful storm-clouds from the past. I love thee when thy heart's distress pours blood-warm from thy streaming eye; when, notwithstanding my caress, thine anguish in its heaviness bursts from thee like a dying cry. celestial rapture 'tis to breathe - like some profound melodious hymn — the sobs that in thy bosom seethe, for me thy heart grows bright beneath the pearls upon those eyes abrim! II I know what long infernal hours thy heart, with loves uprooted crammed, flames like a forge in leaping flowers; I know that in thy bosom glowers some of the pride of all the Damned; and yet, my dear, till fate contrives that all thy dreams resemble hell, and, in an endless nightmare's gyves, musing of poisons and of knives, craving for steel and bursting shell, fearful when opening to a knock, full of a boundless vast distrust and quivering at the striking clock, thou liest crushed beneath the rock of irresistible Disgust, thou canst not, o my queen and slave who lovest me with shuddering, here in the Night's unwholesome grave, cry from thy heart, that shrieking cave: "I am thine equal, o king!" Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks Sad Madrigal I That you are good what does it matter? Be sad: be beautiful! The rain Rejuvenates the flowering plain. As streams do landscapes, teardrops flatter Your face. Your looks, by weeping, gain. When joy from your dejected forehead Has fled, your heart is in the power Of torment, and, to make you cower, The huge cloud of your past, with horrid Black shadow, overlooms the hour, I love you most: and when your eye Pours water hot as blood in battle, And when, despite the fact that I Am nursing you, you give a cry Like death, an agonising rattle. Delicious hymn, profound delight, Pleasure divine!1 breathe with zest The sobs arising from your breast. I think your heart must blaze the light Of pearls that from your eyes are pressed. II I know your heart once more disgorges Its old uprooted love-affairs: And flaming with the heat of forges You feel the pride of vanished orgies, Which makes the damned put on such airs. But now ere yet your evil dreams Reflect the red flames of the Pit, While in an endless nightmare scheming Of poison-draughts and daggers gleaming, Cold steel and powder tempt your wit: While yet in fear the door you answer And see all things with vague mistrust: Free from his grasp, O dear entrancer, And not yet partnered for a dancer With irresistible Disgust, You'll never claim, both queen and slave, Who only love me with affright In the sick silence of the night, And while your feelings inly rave - To match with me in power or might. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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