Doubtful Skies

Clark Ashton Smith

(Translated "from the French of Charles Pierre Baudelaire")

Thine eyes are opals through some veiling vapor seen:
Mysterious changeful, are they blue or grey or green?
Dream they of death or love? or are they but the glass
Where languidly the pale and indolent heavens pass?

Thou dost recall the muffled mornings, cool and wan,
When into tears dissolve the hearts by sorcery drawn;
When, darkly wring and tortured by some unknown ill,
The nerves too wakeful mock the soul that slumbers still.

And sometimes thou art like the horizon-land whereon
Strange lusters kindle to the mist-enfolded sun. . . .
O splendor of a storm-wet dale suddenly bright
Under a sunset heaven where fires and clouds unite.

O dangerous woman! doubtful and seductive clime!
Must I adore likewise thy latter snow and rime,
And, drawn from love's implacable winter, shall I feel
The pleasures more acute than pointed glass and steel?

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