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Best Famous Charles Baudelaire Poems

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by Charles Baudelaire |

Music

 When music sounds, gone is the earth I know, 
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow; 
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees 
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies. 

When music sounds, out of the water rise 
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes, 
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face, 
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place. 

When music sounds, all that I was I am 
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came; 
And from Time's woods break into distant song 
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Beauty

 I HAVE seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills 
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain: 
I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils, 
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain. 

I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea, 
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships; 
But the loveliest thing of beauty God ever has shown to me, 
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.


by Charles Baudelaire |

THE SKY

 WHERE'ER he be, on water or on land, 
Under pale suns or climes that flames enfold; 
One of Christ's own, or of Cythera's band, 
Shadowy beggar or Cr?sus rich with gold; 

Citizen, peasant, student, tramp; whate'er 
His little brain may be, alive or dead; 
Man knows the fear of mystery everywhere, 
And peeps, with trembling glances, overhead. 

The heaven above? A strangling cavern wall; 
The lighted ceiling of a music-hall 
Where every actor treads a bloody soil-- 

The hermit's hope; the terror of the sot; 
The sky: the black lid of the mighty pot 
Where the vast human generations boil!


by Charles Baudelaire |

THE LIVING FLAME

 THEY pass before me, these Eyes full of light, 
Eyes made magnetic by some angel wise; 
The holy brothers pass before my sight, 
And cast their diamond fires in my dim eyes. 

They keep me from all sin and error grave, 
They set me in the path whence Beauty came; 
They are my servants, and I am their slave, 
And all my soul obeys the living flame. 

Beautiful Eyes that gleam with mystic light 
As candles lighted at full noon; the sun 
Dims not your flame phantastical and bright. 

You sing the dawn; they celebrate life done; 
Marching you chaunt my soul's awakening hymn, 
Stars that no sun has ever made grow dim!


by Charles Baudelaire |

EXOTIC PERFUME

 WHEN with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold 
I breathe the burning odours of your breast, 
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest 
Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold. 

Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs 
Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down, 
Where men are upright, maids have never grown 
Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows. 

Led by that perfume to these lands of ease, 
I see a port where many ships have flown 
With sails outwearied of the wandering seas; 

While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown, 
Float to my soul and in my senses throng, 
And mingle vaguely with the sailor's song.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Travelling Bohemians

 The prophetic tribe of the ardent eyes
Yesterday they took the road, holding their babies
On their backs, delivering to fierce appetites
The always ready treasure of pendulous breasts.

The men stick their feet out, waving their guns
Alongside the caravan where they tremble together,
Scanning the sky their eyes are weighted down
In mourning for absent chimeras.

At the bottom of his sandy retreat, a cricket
Watched passing, redoubles his song,
Cybele, who loves, adds more flower,

Makes fountains out of rock and blossoms from desert
Opening up before these travelers in a yawn—
A familiar empire, the inscrutable future.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Music

 Take me by the hand;
it's so easy for you, Angel,
for you are the road
even while being immobile.

You see, I'm scared no one
here will look for me again;
I couldn't make use of
whatever was given,

so they abandoned me.
At first the solitude
charmed me like a prelude,
but so much music wounded me.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Benediction

 NOW the rooftree of the midnight spreading,
 Buds in citron, green, and blue:
From afar its mystic odours shedding,
 Child, on you.


Now the buried stars beneath the mountain
 And the vales their life renew,
Jetting rainbow blooms from tiny fountains,
 Child, for you.


In the diamond air the sun-star glowing,
 Up its feathered radiance threw;
All the jewel glory there was flowing,
 Child, for you.


As within the quiet waters passing,
 Sun and moon and stars we view,
So the loveliness of life is glassing,
 Child, in you.


And the fire divine in all things burning
 Seeks the mystic heart anew,
From its wanderings far again returning,
 Child, to you.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Benediction

 Bless this little heart, this white soul that has won the kiss of
heaven for our earth.
He loves the light of the sun, he loves the sight of his
mother's face.
He has not learned to despise the dust, and to hanker after
gold.
Clasp him to your heart and bless him.
He has come into this land of an hundred cross-roads.
I know not how he chose you from the crowd, came to your door,
and grasped you hand to ask his way.
He will follow you, laughing the talking, and not a doubt in
his heart.
Keep his trust, lead him straight and bless him.
Lay your hand on his head, and pray that though the waves
underneath grow threatening, yet the breath from above may come and
fill his sails and waft him to the heaven of peace.
Forget him not in your hurry, let him come to your heart and
bless him.


by Charles Baudelaire |

Beauty

 WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease, 
No man, woman, or child alive could please 
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh 
Because I sit and frame an epitaph-- 
"Here lies all that no one loved of him 
And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim 
Has wearied. But, though I am like a river 
At fall of evening when it seems that never 
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while 
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file, 
This heart, some fraction of me, hapily 
Floats through a window even now to a tree 
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale; 
Not like a pewit that returns to wail 
For something it has lost, but like a dove 
That slants unanswering to its home and love. 
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air 
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there