The Ideal

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

It will not be these beauties of vignettes,
Poor products of a worthless century,
Feet in half-boots, fingers in castanets,
Who satisfy the yearning heart in me.

That poet of chlorosis, Gavarni,
Can keep his twittering troupe of sickly queens,
Since these pale roses do not let me see
My red ideal, the tlower of my dreams.

I need a heart abyssal in its depth,
A soul confirmed in crime, Lady Macbeth,
Aeschylus' dream, storm-born out of the south,

Or you, great Night of Michelangelo's,
Who calmly twist in an exotic pose
Those charms he fashioned for a Titan's mouth.

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