Charles Baudelaire


I would, to compose my eclogues chastely, Lie down close to the sky like an astrologer, And, near the church towers, listen while I dream To their solemn anthems borne to me by the wind. My chin cupped in both hands, high up in my garret I shall see the workshops where they chatter and sing, The chimneys, the belfries, those masts of the city, And the skies that make one dream of eternity. It is sweet, through the mist, to see the stars Appear in the heavens, the lamps in the windows, The streams of smoke rise in the firmament And the moon spread out her pale enchantment. I shall see the springtimes, the summers, the autumns; And when winter comes with its monotonous snow, I shall close all the shutters and draw all the drapes So I can build at night my fairy palaces. Then I shall dream of pale blue horizons, gardens, Fountains weeping into alabaster basins, Of kisses, of birds singing morning and evening, And of all that is most childlike in the Idyl. Riot, storming vainly at my window, Will not make me raise my head from my desk, For I shall be plunged in the voluptuousness Of evoking the Springtime with my will alone, Of drawing forth a sun from my heart, and making Of my burning thoughts a warm atmosphere. Translated by - William Aggeler Landscape I want to write a book of chaste and simple verse, Sleep in an attic, like the old astrologers, Up near the sky, and hear upon the morning air The tolling of the bells. I want to sit and stare, My chin in my two hands, out on the humming shops, The weathervanes, the chimneys, and the steepletops That rise like masts above the city, straight and tall, And the mysterious big heavens over all. I want to watch the blue mist of the night come on, The windows and the stars illumined, one by one, The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily, And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass; And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass, I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight, And build me stately palaces by candlelight. And I shall dream of luxuries beyond surmise, Gardens that are a stairway into azure skies, Fountains that weep in alabaster, birds that sing All day - of every childish and idyllic thing. A revolution thundering in the street below Will never lure me from my task, I shall be so Lost in that quiet ecstasy, the keenest still, Of calling back the springtime at my own free will, Of feeling a sun rise within me, fierce and hot, And make a whole bright landscape of my burning thought. Translated by - George Dillon The Landscape More chasteness to my eclogues it would give, Sky-high, like old astrologers to live, A neighbour of the belfries: and to hear Their solemn hymns along the winds career. High in my attic, chin in hand, I'd swing And watch the workshops as they roar and sing, The city's masts - each steeple, tower, and flue — And skies that bring eternity to view. Sweet, through the mist, to see illumed again Stars through the azure, lamps behind the pane, Rivers of carbon irrigate the sky, And the pale moon pour magic from on high. I'd watch three seasons passing by, and then When winter came with dreary snows, I'd pen Myself between closed shutters, bolts, and doors, And build my fairy palaces indoors. A dream of blue horizons I would garble With thoughts of fountains weeping on to marble, Of gardens, kisses, birds that ceaseless sing, And all the Idyll holds of childhood's spring. The riots, brawling past my window-pane, From off my desk would not divert my brain. Because I would be plunged in pleasure still, Conjuring up the Springtime with my will, And forcing sunshine from my heart to form, Of burning thoughts, an atmosphere that's warm. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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