je brûle de partout.
One should always be drunk. That is all
that matters; so as not to feel Time’s
horrid burden that breaks your shoulders and grinds you down, you
must get drunk without resting.
But on what? On wine, poetry, or virtue
as you please. But get drunk.
And if, at some time, on steps of a
palace, or in the green grass of a ditch, or in the bleak loneliness
of your room, as you wake and find your drunkenness already dying
away, ask the wind, ask the wave, ask the stars, ask the clock – all
that which runs, all that which groans, all that which rolls, all
that which sings, all that which speaks – ask them, what time is it?
and the wind, the waves, the stars, the birds, and the clock, will
all reply: “It’s time to get drunk! So that you may not be the
martyred slaves of Time, get drunk, get drunk and never pause for
rest! On wine, poetry, or virtue, as you please!”
– Charles Baudelaire
Du temps que la Nature en sa verve puissante
Concevait chaque jour des enfants monstrueux,
J’eusse aimé vivre auprès d’une jeune géante,
Comme aux pieds d’une reine un chat voluptueux.
J’eusse aimé voir son corps fleurir avec son âme
Et grandir librement dans ses terribles jeux;
Deviner si son coeur couve une sombre flamme
Aux humides brouillards qui nagent dans ses yeux;
Parcourir à loisir ses magnifiques formes;
Ramper sur le versant de ses genoux énormes,
Et parfois en été, quand les soleils malsains,
Lasse, la font s’étendre à travers la campagne,
Dormir nonchalamment à l’ombre de ses seins,
Comme un hameau paisible au pied d’une montagne.
— Charles Baudelaire
In those times when Nature in powerful zest
Conceived each day monstrous children,
I would have loved to live near a young giantess,
A voluptuous cat at the feet of a queen.
I would have loved to see her body flower with her soul,
To grow up freely in her prodigious play;
To find if her heart bred some dark flame
Amongst the humid mists swimming in her eyes;
To run leisurely over her marvelous lines;
To creep along the slopes of her enormous knees,
And sometimes in summer, when impure suns
Made her wearily stretch out across the countryside,
To sleep carelessly in the shadow of her breasts,
Like a peaceful village at the foot of a mountain.
— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)
In times when Nature, lusty to excess,
Bred monstrous children, would that I had been
Living beside a youthful giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat beside a queen;
To see her soul and body gain full size
Blossoming freely in her fearsome games,
And by the damp mists swimming in her eyes
To watch her heart nursing what somber flames!
To roam her mighty form at my sweet ease,
To crawl along the slopes of her vast knees,
And, summers, when the sun’s unhealthy heats
Made her sprawl, tired, across the countryside
To sleep at leisure, shaded by her teats,
Like a calm hamlet by the mountainside.
— Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)
Of old when Nature, in her verve defiant,
Conceived each day some birth of monstrous mien,
I would have lived near some young female giant
Like a voluptuous cat beside a queen;
To see her body flowering with her soul
Freely develop in her mighty games,
And in the mists that through her gaze would roll
Guess that her heart was hatching sombre flames;
To roam her mighty contours as I please,
Ramp on the cliff of her tremendous knees,
And in the solstice, when the suns that kill
Make her stretch out across the land and rest,
To sleep beneath the shadow of her breast
Like a hushed village underneath a hill.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
In those days when Nature’s overwhelming Lust
Engendered infant-monsters day by day
I’d love to have lived with a young giantess.
Like a lazy cat at the foot of my queen I’d lay.
I’d watch her grow into her gruesome games,
As I observed her body blossom with her soul.
And in the misty pools of her great eyes I’d try
To spy some secret flame, ominous and cold.
Her magnificent forms, I’d cuddle lazily,
Climbing the slopes of her gigantic knees.
And when she tired of the sick mid-summer suns
And stretched across the land to take her rest,
Like a peaceful hamlet at the foot of the hills,
I’d sleep serenely there in the shadow of her breast.
— James W. Underhill