Page:Translations from Charles Baudelaire, with a few original poems (1869).djvu/21

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19
LESBOS.

To learn if kind and merciful the sea.
 And midst the sobs that make the rock resound,
Brings back some eve to pardoning Lesbos, free
 The worshipped corpse of Sappho, who made her bound
To learn if kind and merciful the sea!


Of her the man-like lover-poetess,[1]
 In her sad pallor more than Venus fair!
 The azure eye yields to that black eye, where
The cloudy circle tells of the distress
Of her the man-like lover-poetess!


Fairer than Venus risen on the world.
 Pouring the treasures of her aspect mild,
The radiance of her fdr white youth unfurl'd
 On Ocean old enchanted with his child;
Fairer than Venus risen on the world.


Of Sappho, who, blaspheming, died that day
 When trampling on the rite and sacred creed.
She made her body fair the supreme prey
 Of one whose pride punish'd the impious deed
Of Sappho who, blaspheming, died that day.

  1. Et de nimboso saltum Leucate minatur
    Mascula Lesbiacis Sappho peritura sagittis.
    Auson. Idyl. cccxxv., 24, 25.