Moesta et Errabunda

Clark Ashton Smith

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

Agatha, say is thy heart not often fain to go,
Far from the somber city's black and impure sea,
To another ocean where the splendors fall and flow
All blue, profound and clear as is virginity?
Agatha, say, is thy heart not often fain to go?

The sea, the sempiternal sea, consoles our pain!
What kindly demon gave to this enchantress hoarse,
Who sings to the grumbling organs of the hurricane,
Her power to cradle us like some titanic nurse?
The sea, the sempiternal sea, consoles our pain!

O wagon, carry me! frigate, waft me, far away!
For here the mud is made of human tears and dust!
Will the sad heart of Agatha not often say:
'From crimes and from remorse, from sorrow and from lust,
O wagon, carry me, frigate, waft me, far away'?

How art thou flown from us, O perfumed paradise,
Where, 'neath a cloudless azure, only love and joy
Abide, and those we love are worthy, fair and wise!
Where the heart drowns in pure delights that never cloy!
How art thou flown from us, O perfumed paradise!

But the green paradise of childish amorettes,
The games, the songs, the kisses, and the gathered flowers,
The flasks of wine that lengthened out the warm sunsets,
The throbbing violins, the silence of the bowers—
But the green paradise of childish amorettes,

The fangless paradise, replete with hidden joys,
Is it already more remote than Taprobane?
Can one recall it with a supplicating voice,
Or with an argent music make it live again—
The guileless paradise, replete with hidden joys?

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/poetry/342
Printed on: November 19, 2017