Alchemy of Sorrow
Translated "from the French of Charles Pierre Baudelaire"
One with his fervor shall inform
The world, and one with all his sorrow:
One sees a glad, unsetting morrow,
One hears the whisper of the worm.
Hermes unknown, whose hand assists
My toil, and fills my dreams with fear,
Through thee I am the mournful peer
Of Midas, first of alchemists.
Fine gold to iron corruptible
I turn, and paradise to hell;
In winding-sheets of cloud and levin
A dear cadaver I descry;
And build upon the shores of heaven
Towering proud sarcophagi
Beyond the Door
Alas! the evanescence of a dream,
That, like a rose, shall never blossom more!
A glimpse of unguessed things, and then the door
Of waking sense clangs to. Alas! the Gleam,
The visioned Secret and the Light supreme,
That one at moments nears, when, lo! the pall
Of veiling darkness drops and covers all -
The darkness of the daylight's aureate beam!
Leaving but an elusive memory -
A heavenly cadence, a supernal word,
Never but half-recalled. In dreams are heard
Who knows what tidings from Eternity,
Transcendant, strange! Alas! we may not bring
Aught past the gateway of Awakening!
You Are Not Beautiful
You are not beautiful; but, ah, too long
I sought, and found a slowly growing grace;
Till fairer now than beauty is your face,
And all your silence dearer than a song.