The Ideal (Sturm)

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The Ideal / L’Idéal
by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Frank Pearce Sturm
NOTE: No. 18 in the 1861 edition of "The Flowers of Evil" / "Les Fleurs du mal". Translated by F. P. Sturm (1879 - 1942), published 1906. Source: The Flowers of Evil, ed. Marthiel and Jackson Mathews, New Directions edition, 1989.


The Ideal


Never those beauties in old prints vignetted,
Those shopworn products of a worthless age,
With slippered feet and fingers castanetted,
The thirst of hearts like my heart can assuage.

To Gavarni, the poet of chloroses,
I leave his troupe of beauties sick and wan;
I cannot find among those pale, pale roses
The red ideal mine eyes would gaze upon.

You, Lady Macbeth, a soul strong in crime,
Aeschylus’ dream born in a northern clime —
Ah, you could quench my dark heart’s deep desiring;

Or you, Michelangelo’s daughter, Night,
In a strange posture dreamily admiring
Your beauty fashioned for a giant’s delight!


The note on the translation:

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1942, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.