Charles Baudelaire

The Blind

Contemplate them, my soul; they are truly frightful! Like mannequins; vaguely ridiculous; Strange and terrible, like somnambulists; Darting, one never knows where, their tenebrous orbs. Their eyes, from which the divine spark has departed, Remain raised to the sky, as if they were looking Into space: one never sees them toward the pavement Dreamily bend their heavy heads. Thus they go across the boundless darkness, That brother of eternal silence. O city! While about us you sing, laugh, and bellow, In love with pleasure to the point of cruelty, See! I drag along also! but, more dazed than they, I say: "What do they seek in Heaven, all those blind?" Translated by - William Aggeler The Blind Look at them, Soul! They are horrible. Lo! there, Like shrunk dwarfs, vaguely ludicrous; yet they keep An aspect strange as those who walk in sleep. Rolling their darkened orbs one knows not where. Their eyes, from which the godlike spark has flown, Stare upward at the sky as though to see Some far thing; never hang they dreamily Those eyes toward the barren pavement-stone. Thus cross they the illimitable dark, That brother of eternal silence. Mark! O frenzied city, as thou roarest by. Drunk with thy song and laughter, I too stray With crawling feet! but ask, more dull than they, "What seek they, all these blind men, in the sky?" Translated by - Jack Collings Squire The Blind My soul, survey them, dreadful as they seem. Like marionettes, ridiculous they stare. Strange as somnambulists that, in their dream, Dart shadowy orbs around we know not where. Their eyes, from which the heavenly spark has flown Remain uplifted, as in distant quest, Skyward: but never on the paving stone Do they pore dreamingly or come to rest. They traverse thus the illimitable Dark, Twin of eternal Silence. While the City May sing around us, bellow, laugh, or bark, - By pleasure blinded even to horror, I, Too, drag my way, but, more a thing of pity, Ask what the Blind are seeking there on high. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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