Song Of The Afternoon

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Although your wayward brows
Give you a curious air
Angelic not at all,
Witch of the tempting stare,

I love you with a passion
Terrible and odd,
With the obeisance
Of priest to golden god.

The desert and the woods
Embalm your heavy hair;
Your head takes attitudes
Mysterious and rare.

A censer's faint perfume
Prowls along your skin;
You charm as evening charms,
Warm and shadowy Nymph.

Ah! strongest potions stir me
Less than your idleness,
And you can make the dead
Revive with your caress!

Your hips are amorous
Of back and breasts and thighs,
And ravished by your pose
Are cushions where you lie.

Sometimes to appease
A rage that comes in fits,
Serious one, you squander
Bites within the kiss;

You wound me, my brunette,
With ever-mocking smile,
Then sweetly, like the moon,
Gaze on my heart a while.

Under your satin shoes,
Your charming silken feet,
I place myself, my joy,
My genius and my fate,

My soul, mended by you,
By you, color and light,
Explosion of heat
In my Siberian night!

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