Charles Baudelaire

The Ghost

Like angels with wild beast's eyes I shall return to your bedroom And silently glide toward you With the shadows of the night; And, dark beauty, I shall give you Kisses cold as the moon And the caresses of a snake That crawls around a grave. When the livid morning comes, You'll find my place empty, And it will be cold there till night. I wish to hold sway over Your life and youth by fear, As others do by tenderness. Translated by - William Aggeler Le Revenant Like the mild-eyed angels sweet I will come to thy retreat, Stealing in without a sound When the shades of night close round. I will give thee manifold Kisses soft and moony-cold, Gliding, sliding o'er thee like A serpent crawling round a dike. When the livid morn creeps on You will wake and find me gone Till the evening come again. As by tenderness and ruth Others rule thy life and youth, I by terror choose to reign. Translated by - Jack Collings Squire The Ghost Just like an angel with evil eye, I shall return to thee silently, Upon thy bower I'll alight, With falling shadows of the night With thee, my brownie, I'll commune, And give thee kisses cold as the moon, And with a serpent's moist embrace, I'll crawl around thy resting-place. And when the livid morning falls, Thou'lt find alone the empty walls, And till the evening, cold 'twill be. As others with their tenderness, Upon thy life and youthfulness, I'll reign alone with dread o'er thee. Translated by - Cyril Scott The Ghost Like angels that have monster eyes, Over your bedside I shall rise, Gliding towards you silently Across night's black immensity. O darksome beauty, you shall swoon At kisses colder than the moon And fondlings like a snake's who coils Sinuous round the grave he soils. When livid morning breaks apace, You shall find but an empty place, Cold until night, and bleak, and drear: As others do by tenderness, So would I rule your youthfulness By harsh immensities of fear. Translated by - Jacques LeClercq The Revenant Like angels with bright savage eyes I will come treading phantom-wise Hither where thou art wont to sleep, Amid the shadows hollow and deep. And I will give thee, my dark one, Kisses as icy as the moon, Caresses as of snakes that crawl In circles round a cistern's wall. When morning shows its livid face There will be no-one in my place, And a strange cold will settle here Others, not knowing what thou art, May think to reign upon thy heart With tenderness; I trust to fear. Translated by - George Dillon The Ghost Like angels fierce and tawny-eyed, Back to your chamber I will glide, And noiselessly into your sight Steal with the shadows of the night. And I will bring you, brown delight, Kisses as cold as lunar night And the caresses of a snake Revolving in a grave. At break Of morning in its livid hue, You'd find I had bequeathed to you An empty place as cold as stone. Others by tenderness and ruth Would reign over your life and youth, But I would rule by fear alone. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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