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Some French Writers: Baudelaire; The Man, Page 2
by Edward Delille (1893).

And again:

"Pouvons-nous étouffer le vieux, le long Bemords
Qui vit, s'agite et se tortille,
Et se nourrit de nous comme le ver des morts,
Comme du chêne la chenille?
Pouvons-nous étouffer l'implacable Remords?"


Again:

"Ma Douleur, donne-moi la main; viens par ici
Loin d'eux ; vois se pencher les défuntes Années
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées;
Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret soupirant;
Le soleil moribond s'endormir sous une arclie,
Et comme un long linceul traînant à l'orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche."


And, to my taste, finer still: —

"J'ai vu parfois an fond d'un théâtre banal
Qu'enflammait l'orchestre sonore,
Une fée allumer dans un ciel infernal
Une miraculeuse aurore;
J'ai vu parfois au fond d'un théâtre banal


"Un être, qui n'était que lumière, or et gaze,
Terrasser l'énorme Satan;
Mais mon coeur que jamais ne visite l'extase.
Est un théâtre où l'on attend
Toujours, toujours en vain l'Etre aux ailes de gaze."


Is there not, herein, a resonance as of bronze smitten and vibrating, together with the density of substance, definiteness of contour, smoothness of surface, brilliancy of polish, and sombre richness of hue which distinguish some admirable antique? Rigid perfection of form, thrilling significance of tone, are the twin qualities of all Charles Baudelaire's best art.

One can see him and hear him intoning a piece like his "Mendiante Kousse " for the benefit of a circle of youthful poets like his friends Prarond, Levavasseur, and others in a room at that celebrated Hôtel Pimodan, where Grautier afterwards dwelt. They eyed Baudelaire a little askance, did these worthy young littérateurs, whose names now never occur save perchance in connection with his. They deemed him "singular" — as probably he was, seeing what the proportion is of men of genius amongst the mass of humankind.


PAGE 2 OF 5.

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AUTHOR: Edward Delille (1893).
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