From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask

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* * *

From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask
Your voice sounded to me as flattering as a dream,
Your charming eyes were shining at me,
And your cunning mouth was smiling.

Through the wispy haze I noticed unconsciously
The paleness of your virgin cheeks and neck,
Lucky creature! I saw a wilful curl
Leaving the wave of its native locks!..

And I created then by these light signs
A lovely beauty in my imagination;
And from that time I carry in my soul,
Caress and love this ethereal apparition.

And all seems thus to me: this lively conversation
I have already heard in the former years,
And someone whispers to me: after this encounter
We will meet again as good old friends.

<1840 or 1841>