The Soul of Wine

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The Soul of Wine / L’Âme du vin
by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Frank Pearce Sturm
NOTE: No. 104 in the 1861 edition of "The Flowers of Evil" / "Les Fleurs du mal". Translated by F. P. Sturm (1879 - 1942), published 1905. Source: The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire with an Introductory Preface by James Huneker, 1919.


The Soul of Wine


One eve in the bottle sang the soul of wine:
“Man, unto thee, dear disinherited,
I sing a song of love and light divine —
Prisoned in glass beneath my seals of red.

“I know thou labourest on the hill of fire,
In sweat and pain beneath a flaming sun,
To give the life and soul my vines desire,
And I am grateful for thy labours done.

“For I find joys unnumbered when I lave
The throat of man by travail long outworn,
And his hot bosom is a sweeter grave
Of sounder sleep than my cold caves forlorn.

“Hearest thou not the echoing Sabbath sound?
The hope that whispers in my trembling breast?
Thy elbows on the table! gaze around;
Glorify me with joy and be at rest.

“To thy wife’s eyes I’ll bring their long-lost gleam,
I’ll bring back to thy child his strength and light,
To him, life’s fragile athlete I will seem
Rare oil that firms his muscles for the fight.

“I flow in man’s heart as ambrosia flows;
The grain the eternal Sower casts in the sod —
From our first loves the first fair verse arose,
Flower-like aspiring to the heavens and God!”


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 published before January 1, 1923 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.