The Sunset Of Romanticism

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

How beautiful a new sun is when it rises,
flashing out its greeting, like an explosion!
Happy, whoever hails with sweet emotion
its descent, nobler than a dream, to our eyes!

I remember! I’ve seen all, flower, furrow, fountain,
swoon beneath its look, like a throbbing heart
Let’s run quickly, it’s late, towards the horizon,
to catch at least one slanting ray as it departs!

But I pursue the vanishing God in vain:
irresistible Night establishes its sway,
full of shudders, black, dismal, cold:

an odour of the tomb floats in the shadow,
at the swamp’s edge, feet faltering I go,
bruising damp slugs, and unexpected toads.

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