THE INVITATION TO THE VOYAGE

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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

How sweet, my own,
Could we live alone
Over beyond the sea!
To love and to die
Indolently
In the land that’s akin to thee!
Where the suns which rise
In the watery skies
Weave soft spells over my sight,
As thy false eyes do
When they flicker through
Their tears with a dim, strange light.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.

Years that have gone
Have polished and shone
The things that would fill our room;
The flowers most rare
Which scent the air
In the richly-ceiling’d gloom,
And the mirrors profound,
And the walls around
With Orient splendour hung,
To the soul would speak
Of things she doth seek
In her gentle native tongue.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.
The canals are deep
Where the strange ships sleep
Far from the land of their birth;
To quench the fire
Of thy least desire
They have come from the ends of the earth.
The sunsets drown
Peaceful town
And meadow, and stagnant stream
In bistre and gold,
And the world enfold
In a warm and luminous dream.

There all is beauty and symmetry,
Pleasure and calm and luxury.

 
Blossoms of Evil (1857)
by Charles Baudelaire - Translated by John Collings Squire

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