scherzo

Smiles, flowers, kisses, and essences
perfume the wind of my nights
after such insipid boredom,
after such dreary absences!

Light up my fantasy,
strew my ideal path and
pour me your ambrosia, lingering glances,
lilies, lips, and sandalwood!

    • *

For I know nothing of decrepit love
and eyes unsealed,
since the gold still blazes
in silky tufts on your white neck.

And yet, my proud friend,
it was a long time ago, wasn’t it?
that, weary of loving, you went to sleep
in my arms one morning.

    • *

It is not carnal things
that make your charm unequaled,
that keep those same
sunbeams in your pupils.

For carnal things die or wither
in fresh air.
But your beauties always remain
within their spiritual halo.

    • *

It is no longer the time for jealous tenderness
nor for false oaths.
Tell me nothing of my mistresses;
I do not count your lovers.

    • *

For you, wandering comet,
often loitering on your path,
letting your fair hair float
in the superhuman ether,

What do a few pale stars matter
in my reason’s troubled sky,
when at long intervals you come
to close my horizon round?

    • *

I do not want to know what poles
your mad orbit left behind it;
give me your breasts and shoulders;
let me kiss them, and that is enough.

Charles Cros

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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

june nights

In summer, when day has fled,
the plain covered with flowers pours out
far away an intoxicating sent; eyes shut, ears half open to noises,
we only half sleep in a transparent slumber.

The stars are purer, the shade seems pleasanter;
a hazy half-day colours the eternal dome;
and the sweet pale dawn awaiting her hour
seems to wander all night at the bottom of the sky.

Victor Hugo

myth

Through shallow fields
of dwarf bamboo
clinging to our waist
we struggle.
We cannot soar through the sky
but must go on foot.

We go through the sea,
and through the water
clinging to our waists
we struggle.
Like watergrasses
on a broad river,
we hesitate in the sea.

The beach plover
does not fly over the beach
but follows the rocky strand.

Yamato Takeru

of the open air dream

Jasmine bloom and butchered bull.
Endless paving. Map. Room. Harp. Dawn.
The girl feigns a jasmine bull
and the bull’s a bleeding sunset, bellowing.

If the sky were a tiny child,
half the jasmines’ night would be darkness,
the bull a blue arena without matadors,
and a heart at the foot of a column.

But the sky’s an elephant,
and jasmine bloodless water.
The girl’s a bough by night
on the huge dark paving.

Between the bull and the jasmine
either marble claws or people sleeping.
In the jasmine, an elephant and clouds
and in the bull the girl’s skeleton.

Federico Garcia Lorca

aura

This perfectly still
Spring day bathed in the soft light
From the vaulted sky,
Why do the cherry blossoms
So restlessly scatter down?

Ki no Tomonori

moon

In early dawn,
The setting moon still glimmers
Above the mountain rim,
But even were no such wall to hide it,
The rising haze would still obscure the sky.

Fujiwara no Teika