Charles Baudelaire

The Wine of the Solitary

The strange look of a lady of pleasure Turned slyly toward us like the white beam Which the undulous moon casts on the trembling lake When she wishes to bathe her nonchalant beauty; The last bag of crowns between a gambler's fingers; A lustful kiss from slender Adeline; The sound of music, tormenting and caressing, Resembling the distant cry of a man in pain, All that is not worth, O deep, deep bottle, The penetrating balm that your fruitful belly Holds for the thirsty heart of the pious poet; You pour out for him hope, and youth, and life - And pride, the treasure of all beggary, Which makes us triumphant and equal to the gods! Translated by - William Aggeler Le Vin du solitaire the wildering glances of a harlot fair seen gliding toward us like the silver wake of undulant moonlight on the quivering lake when Phoebe bathes her languorous beauty there; the last gold coins a gambler's fingers hold; the wanton kiss of love-worn Adeline, the wheedling songs that leave the will supine - like far-off cries of sorrow unconsoled — all these, o bottle deep, were never worth the pungent balsams in thy fertile girth stored for the pious poet's thirsty heart; thou pourest hope and youth and strength anew, - and pride, this treasure of the beggar-crew, that lifts us like triumphant gods, apart! Translated by - Lewis Piaget Shanks The Wine of the Solitary Man The love-glance of a courtesan that swims With undulating ray like that the moon Sends to the waiting, tremulous lagoon Where she's about to lave her languid limbs: The last few florins in a gambler's fingers: The lustful kiss of slender Adeline: A haunting tune that wheedles and malingers, Wherein all human anguish seems to pine: All these aren't worth, O bottle kind and deep, The penetrating balms that swell your paunch The pious poet's wounded heart to staunch. You pour him hope, youth, life, and healing sleep - And pride, all Beggary's diadem and treasure, By which our triumphs with the Gods' we measure. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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