evening twilight

Here is pleasant evening, the criminal’s friend;
it comes stealthily like an accomplice with a wolf’s tread;
the sky closes slowly like a huge alcove,
and impatient man is changed to a wild beast.

O evening, sweet evening, longed for by the man
whose arms can say without deceit:
To-day we have worked! – It is evening
that relieves minds consumed by savage grief,
the scholar whose brow grows heavy
and the bent workman returning to his bed.
Meanwhile foul demons in the atmosphere
awaken heavily like business men and, flying,
knock against the shutters and the porch.

Through the lights flickering in the wind
Prostitution begins to flare in the streets;
like an ant-heap it opens its doors;
everywhere it traces a secret path
like an enemy attempting a surprise;
it moves in the bosom of the filthy city
like a worm stealing man’s food.
Here and there you can hear kitchens hiss,
theaters yelp and orchestras snore;
the cheap eating-houses, whose delight is gambling,
are filled with whores and sharks, their accomplices,
and the robbers, who know neither truce nor mercy,
they too are soon going to begin their work,
and gently force open doors and
coffers to live a few days and clothe their mistresses.

Recollect yourself, my soul, at this solemn moment,
and shut your ear to the roar.
It is the hour when the pains of the sick grow worse!
Dark Night takes them by the throat;
they end their life and go towards the common abyss;
the hospital is filled with their sighs. – More than one
will come no more to seek his fragrant soup,
in the evening, by the fireside beside a soul he loves.

Moreover, most of them have never known
home’s sweetness and have never lived!

Charles Baudelaire

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get drunk

You must always be drunk. Everything is there: it is the only question.
Not to feel the horrible burden of Time breaking your shoulders and
bowing you towards the ground, you must get drunk without stopping.

But on what? On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion. But get drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dreary solitude of your own room, you wake up,
with your drunkenness already lessened or gone,
ask wind, wave, star, bird, clock,
everything that flees, murmurs, rolls, sings, speaks,
ask what time it is;
and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:
,,It is time to get drunk! Not to be the tormented slaves of Time,
get drunk without stopping!
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion.’’

Charles Baudelaire

floridum mare

The harvest overflowing the multi-colored plain rolls,
undulates, and unfurls in the cool wind cradling it;
and the profile of some harrow on the distant sky
seems like a ship pitching and raising a dark bowsprit.

And beneath my feet the sea, right to the purple west,
sky-blue or pink or violet or ultramarine or
the white horses scattered by the ebb,
becomes infinitely green, like a huge meadow.

The gulls, too, following the flood,
flew in whirlwinds with joyful cries
towards the ripe com swollen by a golden tide;

While from the land a honeyed breeze spread
flights of butterflies over the flowery ocean
after the desire of their winged ecstasy.

José-Maria de Heredia

who makes these changes?

Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.
I should be suspicious
of what I want.

Rumi

the bulls

The sea plains, motionless and bare,
cut the depth of the clouds with a long streak of gold.
Only a pink mist, dawdling in the sky,
twists languidly like a slender snake
on the jagged crest of the silent mountains.
A slow breath filled with subtle intoxication
floats over the savannah and the mossy slopes
where muscular, hump-backed bulls with glossy coats,
long horns, and hollow, bloodshot eyes are grazing
upon the short salty grass of the coasts.
Two lean Antongil negroes, loins bent, elbows on knees,
palms beneath their chins, squatting on their hams,
smoke their black pipes absorbed
in the stupidity of a long dream.
But the usual head of the savage herd,
feeling the shadow coming and the hour for the corral,
with silver foam at both corners of his mouth,
stretches out his flat muzzle and bellows over the waves.

Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle

clearness

There’s no moon—
last night, I came here
driving a horse.

Ranran

noon

Noon, king of summers, spread over the plain,
falls in silver sheets from the heights of the blue sky.
Everything is quiet. Breathlessly the air flames and burns;
earth drowses in its fiery dress.

The expanse is vast, the fields have no shade,
and the spring where the flocks used to drink is dried up;
the distant forest, whose edge is dark,
motionlessly slumbers over there in a heavy sleep.

Only the great ripe cornfields, like a golden sea,
roll far away disdaining sleep;
as peaceful children of the sacred earth,
fearlessly they drain the sun’s cup.

Sometimes, like a sigh from their burning soul,
from the bosom of the heavy ears, murmuring among themselves,
a majestically slow undulation awakens and
goes to die on the dusty horizon.

Not far away some white oxen lying in the grass
dribble slowly on their heavy dewlaps
and follow with their proud, languid eyes
the inner dream they never finish.

Man, if towards noon you passed into the blazing fields
with your heart full of joy or bitterness,
flee! Nature is empty and the sun devours:
nothing is living here, nothing is sad or joyful.

But if, disillusioned with tears or laughter,
parched for forgetfulness of this busy world,
no longer knowing how to pardon or to curse,
you wish to taste a last desolate pleasure,

Come! The sun speaks to you in sublime words;
be endlessly absorbed in its relentless flame;
and return with slow steps towards the abject cities,
your heart seven times bathed in the divine void.

Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle