by: Charles Baudelaire
with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold
- I breathe the burning odours of your breast,
- Before my eyes the hills of happy rest
- Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold.
- Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs
- Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down,
- Where men are upright, maids have never grown
- Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows.
- Led by that perfume to these lands of ease,
- I see a port where many ships have flown
- With sails outwearied of the wandering seas;
- While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown,
- Float to my soul and in my senses throng,
- And mingle vaguely with the sailor's song.
MORE POEMS BY CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
'Exotic Perfume' is reprinted from
The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire. Ed. James
Huneker. New York: Brentano's, 1919.