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Charles Baudelaire
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Moesta et Errabunda (Mœsta et errabunda)
by Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Cyril Scott (1909).

Oh, Agatha, tell! does thy heart not at times fly away?
Far from the city impure and the lowering sea,
To another ocean that blinds with its dazzling array,
So blue and so clear and profound, like virginity?
Oh, Agatha, tell! does thy heart not at times fly away?

The sea, the vast ocean our travail and trouble consoles!
What demon hath gifted the sea with a voice from on high,
To sing us (attuned to an Æolus-organ that rolls
Forth a grumbling burden) a lenitive lullabye?
The sea, the vast ocean our travail and trouble consoles!

Oh, carry me, waggons, oh, sailing-ships, help me depart!
Far, far, here the dust is quite wet with our showering tears,
Oh, say! it is true that Agatha's desolate heart,
Proclaimeth, "Away from remorse, and from crimes, and from cares,"
Oh, carry me, waggons, oh, sailing ships, help me depart!

How distant you seem to be, perfumed Elysian fields!
Wherein there is nothing but sunshine and love and glee;
Where all that one loves is so worthy, and lovingly yields,
And our hearts float about in the purest of ecstasy,
How distant you seem to be, perfumed Elysian fields!

But the green paradise of those transient infantile loves,
The strolls, and the songs, and the kisses, and bunches of flowers,
The viols vibrating beyond, in the mountainous groves,
With the chalice of wine and the evening, entwined, in the bowers,
But the green paradise of those transient infantile loves.

That innocent heaven o'erflowing with furtive delight,
Than China or India, is it still further away?
Or, could one with pityful prayers bring it back to our sight?
Or yet with a silvery voice o'er the ages convey
That innocent heaven o'erflowing with furtive delight!


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AUTHOR: Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Cyril Scott (1909).
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