look at the landscape: immensity below…

Look at the landscape: immensity below,
and immensity, immensity above;
in the distant perspective the tall mountain,
sapped at the foot by a terrifying gorge.

Gigantic blocks that the earthquake
has uprooted from the living rock,
and in that brooding and forbidding savannah
not a path or a track.

Desolate and burning air,
studded with calm eagles,
like nails slowly driven home.

A tremendous silence, darkness, and fear,
which only the triumphal gallop of the deer
comes to interrupt, and hardly does so.

Manuel José Othón

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bed of green leaves

Why, Jatir, do you dally, and move your feet
so much at the expense of my love’s voice?
Already the night breeze, rustling the leaves,
murmurs in the crests of the woods.

Beneath the crown of the lofty mango tree,
I carefully covered our pleasant bed
with a tender carpet of soft leaves,
where the pale moonlight plays amidst flowers.

A short while ago the flower of the tamarind opened –
now the jasmine gives a sweeter aroma!
Like a prayer of love, like these prayers,
the wood breathes in the silence of the night.

The moon shines in the sky, stars shine,
perfumes fly with the breeze,
in whose magic flow is breathed
a gasp of love, better than life!

The flower which blooms at dawn
lives for one course of the sun alone, no more.
I am that flower, still awaiting
a sweet ray of sun that gives me life.

Be it through valleys or hills,
on water or land, wherever you may go,
whether day or night, my thoughts go after you;
I have never had another love: you are mine, I am yours!

My eyes have never seen other eyes,
my lips have never felt other lips,
and no hands but yours, Jatir, have pressed
my feather skirt about my waist.

The flower of the tamarind lies half-open,
now the jasmine gives a sweeter aroma;
and my heart, too, like these flowers,
breathes a finer perfume near to the night!

You are not listening to me, Jatir! Nor do you respond
even too late to my love’s voice, calling you in vain!
Tupã! The sun is breaking through! May the morning
breeze brush the leaves from the useless bed!

Antônio Gonçalves Dias

barbarina’s song

Handsome knight going to the war,
what will you do
so far from here?
Do you not see that the night is deep
and that the world
brings only trouble?

You who think that an abandoned love
disappears from the mind so, alas! alas!
Seekers of fame,
your smoke too
flies away.

Handsome knight going to the war,
what will you do
so far from us?
I shall weep for it, I who let myself be told
that my smile was
so sweet.

Alfred de Musset

gothic song

Fair wife,
I love your tears!
It is the dew which
is becoming for flowers.

Beautiful things
have only one Spring,
let us sow the footprints
of Time with roses!

Whether brunette or blonde,
must we choose?
The God of the world
is Pleasure.

Gérard de Nerval

golden verses

What! Everything is sentient!
Pythagoras

Man, free thinker! do you believe that you alone
think in this world where life bursts forth in everything?
Your freedom has power to use strength you possess,
but the universe is absent from all your councils.

In the beast respect an active soul:
every flower is a soul unfolded to Nature;
in metal sleeps a mystery of love;
,,Everything is sentient!’’ And everything has power over your being.

Fear a glance watching you in the blind wall:
a Word is connected even with matter. …
Do not make it serve some impious purpose!

Often in the dark being dwells a hidden God;
and, like an eye born covered by its lids,
a pure spirit grows beneath the surface of stones!

Gérard de Nerval

el desdichado

I am the shadow, the widower, the unconsoled,
the Aquitanian prince with the ruined tower;
my only star is dead, and my star-strewn lute
bears the black sun of Melancholy.

You who consoled me, in the night of the tomb,
give me back Posillipo and the Italian sea,
the flower which please my grief-stricken heart so much,
and the arbour where the vine joints with the rose.

Am I Love or Phoebus?… Lusignan or Biron?
My brow is still red from the queen’s kiss;
I have dreamed in the cave where the siren swims. …

And I have twice crossed Acheron victoriously:
tuning in turn on Orpheus’s lyre
the sighs of the saint and the fairy’s cries.

Gérard de Nerval

an alley in the Luxembourg Gardens

The young girl passed by
as lively and quick as a bird:
in her hand a shining flower,
in her mouth a new song.

She is, perhaps the only one in the world
whose heart would answer mine,
who coming into my deep night,
would light it up with a single glance.

But no, – my youth is over…
Farewell, sweet beam that shone on me, –
perfume, young girl, melody…
Happiness passed by, – it has fled!

Gérard de Nerval