Charles Baudelaire

Sadness of the Moon

Tonight the moon dreams with more indolence, Like a lovely woman on a bed of cushions Who fondles with a light and listless hand The contour of her breasts before falling asleep; On the satiny back of the billowing clouds, Languishing, she lets herself fall into long swoons And casts her eyes over the white phantoms That rise in the azure like blossoming flowers. When, in her lazy listlessness, She sometimes sheds a furtive tear upon this globe, A pious poet, enemy of sleep, In the hollow of his hand catches this pale tear, With the iridescent reflections of opal, And hides it in his heart afar from the sun's eyes. Translated by - William Aggeler The Sadness of the Moon This evening the Moon dreams more languidly, Like a beauty who on many cushions rests, And with her light hand fondles lingeringly, Before she sleeps, the slope of her sweet breasts. On her soft satined avalanches' height Dying, she laps herself for hours and hours In long, long swoons, and gazes at the white Visions which rise athwart the blue-like flowers. When sometimes in her perfect indolence She lets a furtive tear steal gently thence. Some pious poet, a lone, sleepless one, Takes in his hollowed hand this gem, shot through, Like an opal stone, with gleams of every hue, And in his heart's depths hides it from the sun. Translated by - Jack Collings Squire Sadness of the Moon-Goddess To-night the Moon dreams with increased weariness, Like a beauty stretched forth on a downy heap Of rugs, while her languorous fingers caress The contour of her breasts, before falling to sleep. On the satin back of the avalanche soft, She falls into lingering swoons, as she dies, While she lifteth her eyes to white visions aloft, Which like efflorescence float up to the skies. When at times, in her languor, down on to this sphere, She slyly lets trickle a furtive tear, A poet, desiring slumber to shun, Takes up this pale tear in the palm of his hand (The colours of which like an opal blend), And buries it far from the eyes of the sun. Translated by - Cyril Scott Tristesses de la lune the moon tonight, more indolently dreaming, as on a pillowed bed, a woman seems, caressing with a hand distraught and gleaming, her soft curved bosom, ere she sinks in dreams. against a snowy satin avalanche she lies entranced and drowned in swooning hours, her gaze upon the visions born to blanch those far blue depths with ever-blossoming flowers. and when in some soft languorous interval, earthward, she lets a stealthy tear-drop fall, a poet, foe to slumber, toiling on, with reverent hollow hand receives the pearl, where shimmering opalescences unfurl, and shields it in his heart, far from the sun. Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks The Sadness of the Moon Tonight the moon, by languorous memories obsessed, Lies pensive and awake: a sleepless beauty amid The tossed and multitudinous cushions of her bed, Caressing with an abstracted hand the curve of her breast. Surrendered to her deep sadness as to a lover, for hours She lolls in the bright luxurious disarray of the sky - Haggard, entranced - and watches the small clouds float by Uncurling indolently in the blue air like flowers. When now and then upon this planet she lets fall, Out of her idleness and sorrow, a secret tear, Some poet - an enemy of slumber, musing apart — Catches in his cupped hands the unearthly tribute, all Fiery and iridescent like an opal's sphere, And hides it from the sun for ever in his heart. Translated by - George Dillon Sorrow of the Moon More drowsy dreams the moon tonight. She rests Like a proud beauty on heaped cushions pressing, With light and absent-minded touch caressing, Before she sleeps, the contour of her breasts. On satin-shimmering, downy avalanches She dies from swoon to swoon in languid change, And lets her eyes on snowy visions range That in the azure rise like flowering branches. When sometimes to this earth her languor calm Lets streak a stealthy tear, a pious poet, The enemy of sleep, in his cupped palm, Takes this pale tear, of liquid opal spun With rainbow lights, deep in his heart to stow it Far from the staring eyeballs of the Sun. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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