thee i adore

one of my favorite translations of “Thee I Adore” by Charles Baudelaire, from Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)

source: Baudelaire Rimbaud Verlaine: Selected Verse and Prose Poems

Thee I Adore

Thee I adore as the vault of night’s pure madness,
O silent and taciturn, O thou source of pure sadness,
I love the more, O fair, when thou fliest from me,
And when thou seemest, night’s sister, the slyest from me,
Before league upon league the Sea’s insanity
Shall sever us from the immense light’s vanity.

I advance to the attack, I climb to the assaults, whose storms are
As it were beside a corpse where a crowd of worms are,
And I cherish thee, O Beast implacable and cruel,
Because thou art more wonderful than a jewel!

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