To A Creole Lady

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

In a perfumed land caressed by the sun
I found, beneath the trees’ crimson canopy,
palms from which languor pours on one’s
eyes, the veiled charms of a Creole lady.


Her hue pale, but warm, a dark-haired enchantress,
she shows in her neck’s poise the noblest of manners:
slender and tall, she strides by like a huntress,
tranquil her smile, her eyes full of assurance.


If you traveled, my Lady, to the land of true glory,
the banks of the Seine, or green Loire, a Beauty
worthy of gracing the manors of olden days,


you’d inspire, among arbours’ shadowy secrets,
a thousand sonnets in the hearts of the poets,
whom, more than your blacks, your vast eyes would enslave.

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