The Love Of Lies


Charles Baudelaire

When I see you walk by, my indolent darling,

To the sound of music that is deadened by the ceiling,

Pausing in your slow and harmonious movements,

Turning here and there the boredom of your gaze;

When I study, in the gaslight which colors it,

Your pale forehead, embellished with a morbid charm,

Where the torches of evening kindle a dawn,

And your eyes are alluring as a portrait's,

I say to myself: "How fair she is! How strangely fresh!"

Huge, massive memory, royal, heavy tower,

Crowns her; her heart bruised like a peach

Is ripe like her body for a skillful lover.

Are you the fruit of autumn with sovereign taste?

A funeral urn awaiting a few tears?

Are you perfume that makes one dream of distant oases?

A caressive pillow, a basket of flowers?

I know that there are eyes, most melancholy ones,

In which no precious secrets lie hidden;

Lovely cases without jewels, lockets without relics,

Emptier and deeper than you are, O Heavens!

But isn't it enough that you are a semblance

To gladden a heart that runs from the truth?

What does it matter, your obtuseness or your indifference?

Mask or ornament, hail! I adore your beauty.

Go Back