The Sunset of Romanticism


Charles Baudelaire

How beautiful is the Sun when newly risen

He hurls his morning greetings like an explosion!

—Fortunate is the one who can lovingly salute

His setting, more glorious than a dream!

I remember!... I have seen everything, flower, stream, furrow,

Swoon under his gaze like a palpitating heart...

—Let us run to the horizon, it's late,

Let us run fast, to catch a slanting ray, at least!

But I pursue the sinking god in vain;

Irresistible Night, black, damp, deadly,

Full of shudders, establishes his reign;

The odor of the tomb swims in the shadows

And at the edge of the swamp my timid foot

Steps upon slimy snails and unexpected toads.

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