ave, dea; moriturus te salutat

to Judith Gautier

Death and beauty are two deep things
which hold so much shade and light,
that one might say they were two sisters equally terrible and fertile,
holding the same enigma and the same secret.

O women, voices, looks, black hair, blonde plaits,
shine, I am dying! Hold brightness, love, fascination,
O pearls that the sea mingles with its great waves,
O shining birds of the dark forest!

Judith, our two fates are nearer one another
than one would think, to see my face and yours:
the whole divine abyss appears in your eyes,
An I feel the starry gulf in my soul;
we are both neighbors of heaven, Madame,
since you are beautiful and I am old.

Victor Hugo

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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