The Ideal

Clark Ashton Smith

(Translated "from the French of Charles Pierre Baudelaire")

No, not among the meager beauties of vignettes,
The autumn-tainted fruit of a century's decline,
The buskined feet, the fingers hung with castanets,
Can I assuage a heart exorbitant as mine.

I leave to Gavarni, the poet of chloroses,
His warbling troupe of charmers sick that pale and tremble,
For never have I found among these fainting roses
One single flower that doth my red ideal resemble.

Needful wert thou to illumine his abysmal heart,
Lady Macbeth, thou spirit strong in crime, who art
An Aeschylean bloom on boreal shores and dim;

Or better thou, great Night, the child of Angelo,
In a strange posture turning peacefully, to show
Thy beauty fashioned for the mouths of Anakim.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page