Moesta Et Errabunda

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Agatha, tell me, could your heart take flight
From this black city, from this filthy sea
Off to some other sea, where splendour might
Burst blue and clear-a new virginity?
Agatha, tell me, could your heart take flight?

The vast sea offers comfort in our pain!
What demon lets the ocean's raucous cry
Above the great wind-organ's grumbling strain
Perform the holy rite of lullaby?
The vast sea offers comfort in our pain!

Frigate or wagon, carry me away!
Away from where the mud is made of tears!
Agatha, can your sad heart sometimes say:
Far from the crimes, remorse, the grief of years,
Frigate or wagon, carry me away!

How distant are you, perfumed paradise,
Where lovers play beneath the blue above,
Where hearts may drown themselves in pure delights,
Where what one loves is worthy to be loved!
How distant are you, perfumed paradise!

But the green paradise of youthful loves,
The games and songs, the kisses, the bouquets,
The violins that sing in hilly groves,
The evening cups of wine in shady ways,
But the green paradise of youthful loves,

The sinless paradise of stolen joys,
Is it already far beyond the seas?
Can we recall it with our plaintive voice,
And give it life with silver melodies,
The sinless paradise of stolen joys?

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