Poems of Charles Baudelaire/The Ideal

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For works with similar titles, see The Ideal.

The Ideal.

Not all the beauties in old prints vignetted,
Those worthless products of an outworn 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.

Lady Macbeth, the lovely star of crime,
The Greek poet's dream born in a northern clime—
Ah, she could quench my dark heart's deep desiring;

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