hymn to beauty
do you come from
on high or out of the abyss,
o beauty? godless yet divine, your gaze
indifferently showers favor and shame,
and therefore some have likened you to wine.
your eyes reflect the sunset and the dawn;
you scatter perfumes like a windy night;
your kisses are a drug, your mouth the urn
dispensing fear to heroes, fervor to boys.
whether spawned by hell or sprung from
fate like a spaniel follows at your heel;
you sow haphazard fortune and despair,
ruling all things, responsible for none.
you walk on corpse’s beautyundismayed,
and horror coruscates among your gems;
murder, one of your dearest trinkets, throbs
on your shameless belly: make it dance!
dazzled, the dayfly flutters round your wick,
crackles, flares, and cries: I bless this torch!
the pining lover for his lady swoons
like a dying man adoring his own tomb.
who cares if you come from paradise or hell,
appalling beauty, artless and monstrous
if only your eyes, your smile or your foot reveal
the infinite i love and have never known?
come from satan, come from god – who cares,
angel or siren, rhythm, fragrance, light,
provided you transform – o my one queen!
this hideous universe, this heavy hour?
- charles baudelaire