Wandering Gypsies

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

The prophetic tribe with burning eyes
yesterday took to the highway, carrying
children slung on their backs, or offering
proud hunger the breast’s ever-ripe prize.

The men go on foot, with shining weapons,
by the carts where their folk huddle together,
sweeping the heavens, eyes grown heavier
with mournful regret for absent visions.

The cricket, deep in his sandy retreat,
redoubles his call, on seeing their passing feet:
Cybele, who loves them, re-leafs the glades,

makes the rocks gush, the desert bloom,
before these voyagers, thrown wide to whom
is the intimate kingdom of future shades.

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