Translations from Charles Baudelaire, with a few original poems/Weeping and Wandering


Say, Agatha, if at times your spirit turns
Far from the black sea of the city's mud,
To another ocean, where the splendour burns
All blue, and clear, and deep as maidenhood?
Say, Agatha, if your spirit thither turns?

The boundless sea consoles the weary mind!
What demon gave the sea—that chantress hoarse
To the huge organ of the chiding wind—
The function grand to rock us like a nurse?
The boundless ocean soothes the jaded mind!

O car and frigate, bear me far away,
For here our tears moisten the very clay.
Is't true that Agatha's sad heart at times
Says, Far from sorrows, from remorse, from crimes,
Remove me, car, and, frigate, bear away?

O perfumed paradise, how far removed,
Where 'neath a clear sky all is love and joy,
Where all we love is worthy to be loved,
And pleasure drowns the heart, but does not cloy.
O perfumed paradise, so far removed!

But the green paradise of childlike loves,
The walks, the songs, the kisses, and the flowers,
The violins dying behind the hills, the hours
Of evening and the wine-flasks in the groves.
But the green paradise of early loves,

The innocent paradise, full of stolen joys,
Is't farther off than ev'n the Indian main?
Can we recall it with our plaintive cries,
Or give it life, with silvery voice, again,
The innocent paradise, full of furtive joys?