Luciana

And for a moment I saw eternity.
I saw the fragile perennial, the flower that is born
and that the wind blows but never destroys.
I saw the mystery, the bright fruit
which the sun lightly touched
and made ripe forever
and caught imperishably.
She was pure and thought herself sensible to evil.
She was innocent and thought she had malice and deceit in her.
In her smile was charm itself.
In her body was held the secret
of those beings death cannot touch.

Augusto Frederico Schmidt

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song

O Beloved, let us hurry,
for time is getting short;
delay will harm
both of us.

The gifts of noble beauty
flee step by step,
and everything we have
must pass away.

The splendor of your
cheeks will pale,
your hair will be grey,
the flash of your eyes will fade,

the flame of your passion
will turn to ice;
your dear coral mouth
will lose its shape,

your hands will shrink
like snow,
and you will be old.

So let us enjoy now
the fruit of youth
before we have to follow
the flight of the years.

If you love yourself,
love me too;
give me so that when you give
I lose something too.

Martin Opitz

to a poet

Write, Beneditino, far from
the sterile bustle of the street! In the intimacy
of the cloister, with patience and calm,
work and persist and polish and suffer and sweat!

But let the effort employed be disguised in the form;
and the living device contrived
in such a way that the image appear bare,
rich but sober, like a Greek temple.

Let the construction not reveal the anguish of the master.
And, being natural, let the effect be pleasing,
without recalling the framework of the building:

For Beauty, twin’ of Truth,
pure Art, the enemy of artifice,
is strength and grace in simplicity.

Olavo Bilac

XXXV

Somebody said when snubbed, “Is Damon so
Beautiful he doesn’t say hello?
Time will exact revenge when, bye and bye,
Grown hairy, he greets men who won’t reply.”

Diocles

L’invitation au voyage

My sister, my child
Imagine how sweet
To live there as lovers do!
To kiss as we choose
To love and to die
In that land resembling you!
The misty suns
Of shifting skies
To my spirit are as dear
As the evasions
Of your eyes
That shine behind their tears.

There, all is order and leisure,
Luxury, beauty, and pleasure.

The tables would glow
With the luster of years
To ornament our room.
The rarest of blooms
Would mingle their scents
With amber’s vague perfume.
The ceilings, rich
The mirrors, deep—
The splendour of the East—
All whisper there
To the silent soul
Her sweet familiar speech.

There, all is order and leisure,
Luxury, beauty, and pleasure.

And these canals*
Bear ships at rest,
Although in a wandering mood;
To gratify
Your least desire
They have sailed around the world.
The setting suns
En robe the fields
The canals, the entire town
With hyacinth, gold;
The world falls asleep
In a warmly glowing gown.

There, all is order and leisure,
Luxury, beauty, and pleasure.

Charles Baudelaire

old age

What, then, is life if love the golden is gone? What is pleasure?
Better to die when the thought of these is lost from my heart:
the flattery of surrender, the secret embrace in the darkness.
These alone are such charming flowers of youth as befall
women and men. But once old age with its sorrows advances
upon us, it makes a man feeble and ugly alike,
heart worn thin with the hovering expectation of evil,
lost all joy that comes out of the sight of the sun.
Hateful to boys a man goes then, unfavored of women.
Such is the thing of sorrow God has made of old age.

Mimnermus