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m POEMS IN PROSE .

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CORK STREET 1913 .POEMS IN PROSE FROM CHARLES BAUDELAIRE TRANSLATED BY ARTHUR SYMONS LONDON ELKIN MATHEWS.

May 19 1 ** y 8 6 684 8 . November 1 905 Reprinted.3 First Published.

A. " has not dreamed. r the sudden of the conscience " This miracle he has achieved in these bagatelles laborieusei. musical without rhythm and without rhyme. Baudelaire in " Who of us. the wavering starts outlines of meditation. precise and than the quality of thought and of emotion. and the rhythm of the original. in moments of ambition.The and says " Petits Poemes en Prose " are experiments. in which perfect the art not more novel. to use his own words. of the miracle of a poetic prose. I have tried be absolutely faithful to the sense. translatine into In little English a few of these so masterpieces. the words. . S. subtle and staccato enough to follow the lyric motions of the soul. they are also confessions." his dedicatory preface. delight for so which have given me much to many vears. these is astonishing trifles.

.

CONTENTS .

.

The Favours The Moon. are That cheeks is why your eyes green and your 9 extra- . inwardly " This is a child after my own came soul. and passed noiselessly through window-pane. who through the is of the Moon looked in in caprice itself. Then she laid herself upon you with the supple tenderness of a mother." softly And she down the staircase of the the clouds. and she left her colours upon your face. window when you and said lay asleep : your cradle.

the form- and multiform water never be . the vast green sea . . filled the a room a phosphoric .POEMS ordinarily pale. You I shall love that which I love and that by which night and silence less . . Nevertheless. the flood like of her joy. the place where you shall the lover flowers whom . with 10 hoarse sweet voices . odours which make men drunk and sob like the cats that languish upon pianos ! women. You shall be beautiful as I am beautiful. the Moon sphere. am loved : water and clouds. her. that your pupils It IN PROSE at was when you looked so strangely . widened and she clasped her arms so tenderly about your throat that ever since you have had the longing in for tears. atmothis like luminous poison : and all living light thought and said " My kiss shall be upon you for ever. you shall never know unnatural .

the vast tumultuous green the place formless and are multiform water. and whose throats in have clasped by night love my caresses . the ominous flowers that the censers of an unknown rite." spoilt child. poisonous nurse of the moonstruck of the world. and the savage and voluptuous beasts that are the emblems of their folly. now your seeking to find in you goddess.THE FAVOURS OF THE MOON " by And you shall be loved by my lovers. the fateful all the image of the the fearful godmother. not. You shall the queen of men who have I green eyes. And I lie that at is why. accursed dear feet. the sea. where they the woman whom are they like know not. II . be courted my courtiers. of those that sea. the odours that trouble the will.

hands. and from whose eyes men learnt the desire of greatness. and I buried her with my own my own hands. who earth and air with the ideal. believe in immortality. one day when I Spring shook out buried her with into a coffin her censer in the graveyards.II Which I is True filled ? knew one Benedict?. of beauty. shut down 12 ot . But live miraculous child was too beautiful to long and she died only a few days after I had come to know her. and of all whereby we this . of glory.

and said. who trampled on the fresh soil with a strange and hysterical : violence. remain fastened. knee like the earth of the new a grave I and now. and answered: "No! to no I " ! And to add more emphasis ground my refusal stamped on foot that the so violently to the with in my my leg sank up .WHICH IS TRUE ? wood. you shall love me I just as I am " ! But no ! Ia . perfumed and incorruptible caskets. like Indian And laid as I still gazed at the place where I had away my treasure. a wolf caught in trap. . perhaps for ever.Jo rurious. to the grave of the *3 ideal. shrieking with laughter at "Look me ! I I am am the real Benedicta ! ! a pretty sort of for baggage ness And to punish you your blind- and folly. I saw all at once a little person singularly like the deceased.

so warm and capricious fancy flourish sistently there. where every- 14 ." Ill " L'Invitation au Voyage There is a wonderful country. *«ty«ne might friend. they say. a I country of Cockaigne. It i* the mists of our in the East of the freely does a West. the China of Europe. and so patiently and perillustrated it has that fancy with a learned and delicate vegetation. which with an old lost call in it dr^-med of visiting je country. A real country of Cockaigne.

t>. where disorder. where beautiful. that nostalgia of at unknown There all is anguish in of curiosity? is a country made your image. beautiful. and highly is where dear love. made your image. and sweet to breathe . quiet. where is life is sweet to breathe. You know over us in that feverish sickness which comes ou lan. where fancy has built and decorated a western China. all. there that ! we should live. and the unexpected are shut is out . rich. tumult. poetic. rich. there that we should die 15 . where happiness It is wedded it is to silence."L'INVITATION thing order is AU VOYAGE" honest . where is the likeness and the mirror of luxury life is where fat. miseries. quiet and honest . where happiness is wedded rich to silence where even cooking flavoured at once in .

shining panels. and devout as it.POEMS Yes. painters calm. A la musician has written an " Invi: tation a Valse " au who '" will compose the can offer " Imitation Voyage that we r to the beloved. and lengthen out the hours by the infinity of sensations. deep. the souls of the who created The sunsets which colour so richly the walls sifted tall of dining-room and drawing-room. far off. to the chosen sister Yes. where slower hours contain strike more with a thoughts. where clocks happiness deeper and more significant solemnity. slumbers the discreet of pictures. dream. it is IN PROSE there that we should breathe. it is in this atmosphere that it would be good to live . On a or on gilded leather life of dark richness. are hangings or through beautiful through wrought windows 16 .

like beautiful. like ! many-coloured treasures jewellery of silver All their the of the the world have found way there. and shining. from every and from corner. metals. which is. hangings. a "forget-me-not" of Sumatra. is I assure you. like a bright array of kitchen crockery. curious. potter}'. from the of drawers the folds of hangings. a clear conscience. and fantastic. locks armed with Mirrors. goldsmith's work and and play for the . like splendid jewellery of gold. and secrets like refined souls. clean. as it were. pieces or furni- ture are large. exhales a singular odour. as to house of a hard-working 17 c man . the soul of the abode." L'INVITATION AU VOYAGE The " leaded into many panes. eyes a mute all mysterious symphony and from cracks things. A where real all country of Cockaigne.

let them set ever further and further ! back the limits to offer prizes of sixty florins their happiness Let them and of a hundred thousand will I to ! whoever sohe have ! their ambitious problems For me. Let the alchemists of horticulture seek and seek again. so calm and so live of dreams. is it not. that you and flourish r There. Singular country.POEMS who has IN PROSE in put the whole world his debt. re- moulded. where Nature is refashioned by dreams. where Nature is corrected. recaptured dahlia. and would you 18 . it tulip. allegoric is there. excelling others as Art excels Nature. would you not be framed within your own analog}-. embellished. full in that beautiful country. found my " black tulip" and my " blue dahlia" Incomparable flower.

and. these odours. luxury. from whose decks comes c 2 19 . laden with riches. birth carries within himself his natural dose of ceaselessly secreted to and renewed. and shall decided action pass ? we we ever into. in your own " correspondence ! ? Dreams. are you. as the mystics say. that picture which in my mind ? has painted. Shall can we reckon of positive of successful ever live in. these miraculous flowers. furniture. this order. You too are the great rivers and the quiet canals. Every man opium. from hours death. the do dreams from possible things. dreams ever and ambitious the estrange it and the more further delicate soul. reflected. how many pleasure. that picture made this your image this These treasures. The vast ships that drift down them.'•L'INVITATION AU VOYAGE" " not see yourself again.

You lead them softly towards the which the infinite. and when. weary of the surge and spoils of the East.POEMS the sound of the sailors. mirroring the depths of the sky in the crystal clearness of your soul . IN PROSE monotonous songs of labouring rise are my thoughts which slumber or breast. my thoughts that come back enriched out of the infinite to you. it is still heavy with the they return to the port of their birth. is and fall on your sea. 20 .

I think. the most perfect example of feminine impenetrability that could possibly be found. ! the Poor J you want It to know why J less I hate J you to- will probably be for easy for you to it understand than me to explain to you . We had promised one another that we would think the same thoughts and that our two souls should become one soul 21 . and to it had me short.IV The Eyes of An dav. for you are. We seemed had spent a long day together.

all men. laughing at on their wrists. it has been realised by none. and lighted its up with the full force the blinding whiteness of in walls. the dazzling sheets of glass the mirrors. dream which dreamed by is not original. the nymphs and godand game on their at desses carrying fruits and pies heads. littered its with plaster and splen- already displaying proudly dours. In the evening sat you were a little tired. the chubby-cheeked pages the straining ladies back from the hounds falcons in leash. the Hebes and Ganymedes holding out 22 . after except that.POEMS a IN PROSE all. unfinished The cafe glittered. the gilt of cornices and mouldings. The very gas put on all the fervency of a fresh start. and you of a down outside a still new cafe" at the corner new boulevard.

The how father's eyes said it is ! : " How beautiful it is ! beautiful One would 23 think that all the . with a man of about forty years of weary face and a greyish beard. holding a little boy by one hand and carrying a little on the other arm walk. the whole of history and of to mythology brought together for make to a paradise us. differentiated in each according to age. stood a age. All were in The and cafe three six were extraordinarily fixedly at serious. fellow too weak to He was taking the nurse-maid's place. the eyes stared the new with an equal admiration. in and had brought the faces his children out for a walk rags.THE EYES arm's-length little jars OF THE POOR of syrups or parti-coloured obelisks of ices . Exactly opposite in the roadway. gluttons. evening.

I The song was was concerned.POEMS IN PROSE found its gold of the poor world had these walls. your green eyes that are the home of caprice and 24 ." it is ! way " to The how boy's eyes it said ! : How is beautiful beautiful is But that a house which only people enter. Song-writers soul say that pleasure ennobles the and softens the heart. so much much for our turned to look at you. they were too fascinated to express anything but stupid and utter joy. so beautiful and so strangely sweet. glasses thirst. dear love." who are not like us can As for the little one's eyes. right that evening. family of eyes. so far as I Not only was but I felt touched by this rather ashamed of our too and I decanters. I gazed deep into your eyes. that I might read my own thought in you .

and insup! said me me : " Those their people portable to with staring saucer-eyes Couldn't you tell the head waiter to send them away So " ? hard is it to understand is one another. dearest.THE EYES OF THE POOR under vou the to sovereignty of the Moon are . and so incommunicable in love thought. even between people who are ! 25 .

life lives. more mvsterious. I can see a woman 26 . more gloomy. more profound. In that dark or lumi- nous hollow. There nothing fertile. What we less can the sunlight always interesting than what goes on behind the panes of a window.V Windows He who sees so looks in through an open window never many things as he is who looks at a shut window. life dreams. life suffers. more or more dazzling. than a window see in lighted by a is candle. Across the waves of roofs.

and what am ? .WINDOWS of middle age. his just as easily. who is always who never goes out. I had been a poor old man. leaning over something. I have made up I the to woman's story. Perhaps you will say to that it is me : "Are you does it sure the real story ? " What matter. out of nothing almost. has helped I me to live. out of her dress. what does any if it reality outside of myself matter. wrinkled. and poor. of her Out of her face. proud of having lived and suffered in others. could have made up And I go to bed. and sometimes say it over myself with If it tears. out attitude. to feel that I am.

VI

Crowds
It
is

not given to every
:

man

to take a bath of
is

multitude

to play

upon crowds
at the

an

art

;

and

he alone can plunge,

expense of human-

kind, into a debauch of vitality, to

whom

a fairy

has bequeathed in his cradle the love of masks

and

disguises, the hate of

home and

the passion

of travel.

Multitude,
convertible

solitude

:

equal

terms

mutually
poet.

by the active and

begetting

He who

does not

know how
28

to people his soli-

CROWDS
tude, does not

know

either

how

to be alone in a

busy crowd.

The
to

poet enjoys

this

incomparable privilege,

be at once himself and others.
souls that

Like those

wandering

go about seeking bodies, he

enters at will the personality of every

man.
if

For

him

alone, every place

is

vacant

;

and

certain
is

places

seem
in

to
his

be
eyes

closed against

him, that

because

they

are

not

worth

the

trouble of

visiting;.

The
singular

solitary

and thoughtful walker derives a
from
this

intoxication

universal

com-

munion.

He who

mates easily with the crowd

knows

feverish joys that
to the egoist, shut

must be

for ever

un-

known

up

like a coffer,
shell-fish.
all

and

to the sluggard,

imprisoned like a

He
the

adopts for his

own

all

the

occupations,

29

POEMS
joys and
all

IN

PROSE

the sorrows that circumstance sets

before him.

What men

call

love

is

small indeed, narrow
this

and weak indeed, compared with

ineffable

orgie, this sacred prostitution of the soul

which
!)

gives itself

up wholly (poetry and charity

to

the unexpected
as

which happens,

to the stranger

he
It

passes.
is

good sometimes that the happy of
it

this

world should learn, were
foolish pride for

only to humble their

an instant, that there are higher,

wider, and rarer joys than theirs.

The

founders

of colonies, the shepherds of nations, the missionary priests, exiled to the ends of the earth,
doubtless

know something
;

of these

mysterious
vast

intoxications

and,

in

the

midst

of the

family that their genius has raised about them,

31 .CROWDS they those must sometimes laugh at the thought of who pity them for their chaste lives and troubled fortunes.

seemed that me now in as away the clouds feet .VII The Cake I was travelling. such as to and profane as love. floated the to gulfs as beneath vast my my soul seemed me and pure as the dome 32 of the sky that en- . I The landscape in the midst of irresistible which was seated was of an Something from it grandeur at and sublimity. vulgar passions. no doubt that moment passed into my soul. My hate far thoughts fluttered with a lightness like that of the atmosphere .

THE CAKE veloped me . black with the darkness there passed from time to of its immense depth. I felt that I was at perfect peace . with myself in and with the universe I even believe that. all my complete forgetfulness. when. the remembrance of earthly things came the as faintly to my heart as the thin tinkle or herds. far away. and man was born good . And I remember caused that this rare and solemn senvast sation. on the slope of another mountain. the little Across motionless lake. thanks to the enrapturing beauty about me.of earthly evil. I had come to think the newspapers are right after all. incorrigible 33 D . filled me with mingled joy and In a word. flying through heaven. like the shadow of an airy giant's cloak. by a and perfectly silent fear. time the shadow of a cloud. bells of unseen browsing far. movement.

deI the piece of bread. saw in front of me a little dark and dishevelled. in a low. and a small bottle of a certain elixir which the chemists at that time sold to tourists. Slowly he came up to me.POEMS matter renewing fresh its IN PROSE I exigences. with liquid snow. and I cut off a big slice and offered to his him. on occasion. a leathern cup. the I word " Cake " ! could not help laughing at the appellation with fit which he thought to honour my nearly white it bread. whose hollow voured eyes. to be mixed. sought to re- the fatigue and satisfy the appetite caused I by so lengthy a climb. not taking 34 . wild and supplicating. hoarse voice. a took from my pocket large piece of bread. I was quietly cutting my I bread when a slight noise made me ragged look up. And heard him : gasp. urchin.

and bleeding morsel with a fine oath legitimate his little The to proprietor of the the cake tried hook claws into 35 d 2 . They on the ground of the it struggling for the possession precious booty. clutched the second by the hair . and the second seized one of the spat out a in dialect. ears of the first little between his teeth.THE CAKE eyes from the coveted object it . he stepped quickly back. or that I had already repented of But at the same instant he was knocked over had sprung from I by another little savage. sincere. snatching if out of my hand. as he feared that my offer was not it. and that one who was so precisely like for first might have taken them rolled over twin brothers. then. who know the not where. neither willing to share his with brother. together. The first. exasperated.

while to slip with the other he endeavoured the prize of war into his pocket. and when bleeding. and lay scattered it crumbs like the grains of sand with which was mingled. exhausted. loser But. pulled himself and sent the in his victor sprawling with a blow of the head stomach. and changed from pocket pocket. at everv also in moment . heartened by despair. length. Why describe a hideous fight which indeed lasted longer than their childish strength seemed hand to to promise ? The cake travelled from to hand. panting and they stopped from the sheer impossibility of going on. at it changed size . but. IN PROSE the latter did his best to throttle adversary with one hand. alas.POEMS usurper's eyes his . 36 . there was no j longer any cause of feud the slice of bread in had disappeared. the together.

calm in which my I remained saddened over for quite a long time. saying over and is to myself: in "There bread it then a wonderful country which is called cake.THE CAKE The and had sight had darkened the landscape for me. and is so rare a delicacy that rise to is enough " ! in itself to give a war literally fratricidal 37 . soul dispelled the joyous lain basking .

38 . a great clamour. made up of a crowd of discordant a cries. A great restfulness descends . Nevertheless from the mountain peak there comes to my balcony.VIII Evening Twilight The day is over. into poor minds that the day's work has wearied and thoughts take on the tender and dim colours of twilight. like that of the rising tide or of a storm brewing. dulled by distance into mournful harmony. through the transparent clouds of evening.

as I smoke. and look and. I and flew first-comer a have seen him throw at the waiter's 39 . Twilight excites madmen. lull my astonished thought imitation of the harmonies of hell. me from the hospital on the mountain evening. here the is domestic happiness ! " I can. savage. is down on of the immense valley. I remember quite ill. the a coming of night sabbath ? signal for witches' to The sinister ululation comes . the as to the owls. I had two of friends whom all twilight made One them lost sense at of social the and friendly like amenities. bristling with each of whose windows seems to say. when wind blows from the with this heights. whom evening no calm to is whom. in the the quiet houses. " Here peace.EVENING TWILIGHT Who brings are the hapless ones to .

a prey to disappointed ambition. The former died mad.POEMS IN PROSE in head an excellent chicken. I believe that the twilight would still quicken in him 40 the burning envy of . other. but on himself. gradually. harbinger of profound delights. for him the most succulent things. and it was not only on others. ness of a perpetual disquietude and. he which he imagined hieroglyph. spoilt had discovered some insulting Evening. The turned sourer. as the daylight dwindled. if all the honours that republics and princes can confer were heaped upon him. his wife and child the latter still keeps the restless. more nettlesome. unable to recognise . Indulpitiless more gloomy. gent and sociable during the day. that he vented the rage of his twilight mania. he was in the evening .

conquering might of the flaring candle- Hames glories of that stain with dull red the last 41 . which put its own mine brings light to darkness into their minds. Night. outburst of gas-lamps. . in the stony labyrinths tion of stars. you are the deliverer from anguish In the solitude of the of a city. like the last its agony of day under the night .EVENING TWILIGHT imaginary distinctions. scintillaplains. tender ! how gentle you still are and how The rosy lights that linger on the horizon. and. the same cause to bring about I am it. you are the fireworks of the goddess Liberty ! Twilight. though it is by no means rare for opposite results. always as it were perplexed and alarmed by O the night ! O refreshing dark to an ! for me you are summons inner ! feast.

mimic all those complex feelings in the heart life. war on one another of man the solemn moments of Would you not say that it was one of those strange costumes worn by dancers. in which the tempered splendours of through a a shining skirt show as. dark and transparent gauze.POEMS the sunset . pierces the delicious past ? And the wavering stars of gold it and silver fires with which is shot. are they not those of fancy which take light never so of the night ? well as under the deep mourning 42 . IN PROSE the heavy draperies that an invisible hand draws out of the depths of the that at East. through the darkness of the present.

IX "Anywhere Life is out of the World" is a hospital. "Tell me. what do 43 . my soul. possessed by the desire bed. I happy of were somewhere is and this question moving house over with one that am continually talking my soul. One would another is prefer to suffer near the and if certain that he would get well he were by the window. in which every patient of changing his fire. It if I seems to me be that I should always else. poor chilly soul.

POEMS you say to living in IN PROSE ? Lisbon It must be very like a warm lizard. have so often admired What do you say to Rotterdam. and with liquid to reflect them. rest. " Since you love and in to see moving things. you come and r live that heavenly land. There is a country your own soul . you who love forests of masts. and that the people have such a horror of vegetation that they tear after up all the trees. It is and you would bask merrily. and ships anchored at the doors of houses " ? My soul remains silent. by the sea. 44 . a country made up of light and mineral." My will soul makes no answer. there. in Holland Perhaps you would be happy a in country which you pictures. they say that it is built of marble.

" Not a word. There the sun the earth. poor soul passage to Torneo. if it We from go the last limits of the Baltic life . to We will . and. further at still we will make only our abode grazes light the Pole. ! know will still exactlv the place for us. while. be possible. monotony. from time 45 . Can my soul be dead ? " Have you sunk then into so deep a stupor that only your be so. and the slow alternations of in and night put out variety and bring the half of nothingness. there we shall find the mind of Europe married to tropical beautv.''ANYWHERE OUT OF THE WORLD" " tive Or r perhaps Java seems to you more attrac- Well. There we can take great baths of darkness. book our further. own let pain gives vou pleasure ? If that us go to the lands that are I made in the likeness of Death.

like re- flections of fireworks in hell " ! At last my " ! soul bursts into speech. the shall scatter its rosy sheaves before us. out of +6 . : and wisely she cries to the world me " Anywhere. anywhere. for our IN PROSE Aurora Borealis pleasure.POEMS to time.

serious things have a fatal attraction. But professionally devoted to the comic. and. discontented nobles. strange as it may seem that ideas of patriotism and liberty should seize despotically upon the brain of a player. There exist everywhere sensible men to de- nounce those individuals of atrabiliar disposition 47 . one day Fancioulle joined in a conspiracy formed by some.X A Fancioulle Heroic Death an admirable buffoon. was and almost one of the friends for persons of the Prince.

sulting to reconstitute society. he feared efforts no enemy but Ennui. an excellent connoisseur as well. worse than any other prince sensibility but an excessive cases. and the extravagant that he made to fly or to vanquish this tyrant of the world would certainly have brought upon 48 .POEMS who IN PROSE seek to depose princes. together with Fancioulle. in many all more cruel and more despotic than fellows. The lords in question were arrested. he was truly insatiable in of pleasures. The Prince was neither better nor . would readily believe that the Prince was almost sorry to find his favourite actor among the rebels. and. Passionately enamoured of the fine arts. himself a real artist. and condemned I to death. his rendered him. without conit. Indifferent enough regard to men and morals.

enough for his There are young Neros who are stifled within too narrow limits. the in epithet of " monster. this will never be known to future An unforeseeing Providence had given to man faculties greater than his dominions. and the origin of this rumour was the announcement of a special performance in which Fancioulle and at would play one of his best rSles.A HEROIC DEATH him. dominions. to write anything whatever which did not tend exclusively to pleasure. which 49 E . is one of the most delicate forms of great The misfortune of the Prince vast was that he had no theatre genius. and whose names and whose intentions ages." had his been permitted. on the part of a severe it historian. Suddenly the rumour spread that the sovereign had decided to pardon all the conspirators . or to astonish- ment. which pleasure.

added superficial minds. But to those who. even if even mercy. it was infinitely more probable that the Prince was wishful to estimate the quality of the scenic talents of a man condemned to death. and to verify to what extent the habitual faculties of an artist would be altered or modified by the extraordinary situation in which he found him- 50 . was said. of the generous tendencies of the Prince. anything was possible. be present. had succeeded in penetrating further into the depths of this sick and curious soul. He would profit by the occasion to obtain a physiological experience of a capital interest. the part ot a man so naturally and de- liberately eccentric. were to an evident sign. especially it he could hope to find in unexpected pleasures. like myself. On virtue.POEMS IN PROSE it even the condemned nobles.

on a doubly display solemn This was a its solemn one. interest attaching The Sieur Fancioulle excelled especially in parts either silent or little burdened with words. and it would be it. At last. the all its little court displayed difficult to pomps. both from the wonder of and from the mysterious moral to it. is to represent symbolically the mystery of He came upon 51 the stage e 2 . did there exist in his mind an ? intention. the great day having come.A HEROIC DEATH self. realise. can show forth. without having seen what state splendour the privileged classes of a little with really limited resources occasion. in those fairy such as are often the principal ones plays whose object life. of mercy It a point that has never been solved. is more or less defined. Beyond this.

would be in relation to the confused general idea of beauty. a singular and unheard a of case. perfect idealisation. 52 . walking. effort. art. "This is a good we make use of a formula which implies distinguish that under the personage we can still the actor. will. impossible not to suppose living. this would be. statues precisely what the of antiquity. it that evening. miraculously animated. and with a perfect support. in relation to the personage whom he finest is appointed to express. in Now. in the which in itself lent some to minds of the noble and forgive- public. that if is to say. seeing. undoubtedly. an actor should succeed being. Fancioulle was." say of an actor.POEMS lightly IN PROSE ease. living. possible. ness. which was real. the idea of kindness When we actor.

as in . the rays of the martyr's glory. indestructible was convulsed. and in which were blended. a peremptory. that the intoxiis cation of Art surer than all others to veil the terrors of the gulf. 53 lost. wept. in an irrefutable way. by know not what special grace. divine and into even the most extravagant tears of My pen trembles. an aureole invisible to visible but in a to me. Fancioulle brought. and the I an emotion which cannot forget rise to my eyes.A HEROIC DEATH The buffoon came and went. with an aureole all. as I try to describe to you this never-to-be- forgotten evening. that genius can act a comedy a joy that it is. Art and I strange amalgam. on the threshold of the grave with hinders it from seeing the grave. about his head. he laughed. Fancioulle proved to me. something supernatural buffooneries.

his emotion was not unmixed. All gave them- without disquietude. fell audience. Nevertheless. The whole was. or of punishment. quered in his Did he as despot ? feel himself con- power humiliated in his art as the striker of terror into hearts. to the manifold delights caused by the sight of a masterpiece of of joy and admiration the edifice living art. in The in an ecstasy. to a discerning eye. Prince himself. soon artist. Explosions again and again shook the dome of with the energy of a continuous thunder. joined the applause of his court. of mourning. of chill 54 . selves up.POEMS IN PROSE all a Paradise shutting out thought of the grave and of destruction. blase and frivolous as it under the all-powerful sway of the a Not thought was left of death.

page.A HEROIC DEATH into souls ? Such suppositions. on which a spread its new pallor gradually over- habitual paleness. ear. and whisper in lit his The roguish face of the pretty child up with a smile. and eyes lighted up with an inner fire like that of jealousy or of spite. later a shrill A few minutes and prolonged hiss 55 . passed through my mind as I contemplated the face of the Prince. not exactly justified. the strange buffoon. I At a certain a moment. but not absolutely unjustifiable. saw his Highness lean towards behind little stationed him. who played the buffoon so well in the face of death. even while he applauded the talents of his old friend. and he briskly quitted the Prince's box as if to execute some urgent commission. and His compressed his themselves tighter tighter. as lips snow overspreads snow.

and then stark dead on the boards. And from this the part of the house from whence unexpected note of disapproval had sounded. then re-opened them. roused out of his dream. staggered a fell little forward. shaken.POEMo interrupted IN in prom: one of his finest Fancioulle moments. really frustrated r hangman Had the Prince himself divined ? the homicidal efficacy of his ruse it. almost at once. a backward. opened his mouth as if to breathe little convulsively. extraordinarily wide. swift as a sword. and rent alike every ear and heart. Fancioulle. 56 . Had the all the hiss. It is per- mitted to doubt Did he r regret his dear and is inimitable Fancioulle It sweet and legiti- mate to believe it. closed his eyes. a child darted into a corridor with stifled laughter.

A HEROIC DEATH The guilty nobles had enjoyed the performance last of comedy for the time They were effaced from life. justly appreciated in different countries. have played before the court of to . many mimes. but none of them have ever been able the recall marvellous talents of Fancioulle. Since then. or to rise to the same favour. SI .

as you But be drunken. will. or with what r With wine. Drunken poetry. on the side of a stairs of a palace. or the dreary 58 . And ir sometimes. you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your to shoulders and crushing vou the earth. be drunken continually. with with virtue. or in on the green ditch. Nothing If else matters : the only question.XI Be Drunken Be that always is drunken.

with poetry. wave. ask of the wind. or with you 59 . will and the wind. or of the clock. or what hour clock. you and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you. or of the wave. flies. ask star. or of the star. answer you " if It is the hour to be drunken ! Be drunken. or of the bird. : bird. . or sighs. of whatever speaks. as ! Time .BE solitude of your DRUNKEN should awaken own room. or sings." wine. be drunken With will. it is or rocks. you would not be martyred slaves of continually virtue.

and such hells. Where evil comes up softly like a flower. for vain tears I went up at that hour like an old sad faithful lecher. fain trull To drink delight of that enormous hellish Whose beauty makes me young again. patron of my pain. Thou Not But.. and saw the city as from a tower. prison. 60 . O Satan. Hospital. knowest. brothel. XII Epilogue With heart at rest I climbed the citadel's Steep height.

or. infamous city ! Harlots and Hunted have pleasures of their own to give. new apparelled. . LTD.EPILOGUE Whether thou sleep. Sodden with day. with heavy vapours full. I love thee. The vulvar herd can never understand. LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS. stand In gold-laced veils of evening beautiful.

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