Charles Baudelaire


Imagine Diana in elegant attire, Roaming through the forest, or beating the thickets, Hair flying in the wind, breast bare, drunk with the noise, Superb, defying the finest horsemen! Have you seen Theroigne that lover of carnage, Urging a barefoot mob on to attack, Her eyes and cheeks aflame, playing her role, And climbing, sword in hand, the royal staircase? That is Sisina! But the sweet amazon's soul Is as charitable as it is murderous; Her courage, exalted by powder and by drums, Before supplicants, knows how to lay down its arms, And her heart, ravaged by love, has always, For him who is worthy, a reservoir of tears. Translated by - William Aggeler Sisina Imagine Diana in gorgeous array, How into the forests and thickets she flies, With her hair in the breezes, and flushed for the fray, How the very best riders she proudly defies. Have you seen Theroigne, of the blood-thirsty heart, As an unshod herd to attack he bestirs, With cheeks all inflamed, playing up to his part, As he goes, sword in hand, up the royal stairs? And so is Sisina - yet this warrior sweet, Has a soul with compassion and kindness replete, Inspired by drums and by powder, her sway Knows how to concede to the supplicants' prayers, And her bosom, laid waste by the flames, has alway, For those that are worthy, a fountain of tears. Translated by - Cyril Scott Sisina Picture Diana, gallantly arrayed, Ranging the woods, elated with the chase, With flying hair and naked breasts displayed, Defying fleetest horsemen with her pace. Know you Theroigne whom blood and fire exalt, Hounding a shoeless rabble to the fray, Up royal stairways heading the assault, And mounting, sword in hand, to show the way? Such is Sisina. Terrible her arms. But charity restrains her killing charms. Though rolling drums and scent of powder madden Her courage, - laying by its pikes and spears, For those who merit, her scorched heart will sadden, And open, in its depth, a well of tears. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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