The Elevation

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Above the valleys, over rills and meres,
Above the mountains, woods, the oceans, clouds,
Beyond the sun, past all ethereal bounds,
Beyond the borders of the starry spheres,

My agile spirit, how you take your flight!
Like a strong swimmer swooning on the sea
You gaily plough the vast immensity
With manly, inexpressible delight.

F1y far above this morbid, vaporous place;
Go cleanse yourself in higher, finer air,
And drink up, like a pure, divine liqueur,
Bright fire, out of clear and limpid space.

Beyond ennui, past troubles and ordeals
That load our dim existence with their weight,
Happy the strong-winged man, who makes the great
Leap upward to the bright and peaceful fields!

The man whose thoughts, like larks, take to their wings
Each morning, freely speeding through the air,
Who soars above this life, interpreter
Of flowers' speech, the voice of silent things!

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