With her pearly undulating dresses…

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With her pearly undulating dresses… / Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés…
by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Frank Pearce Sturm
NOTE: No. 27 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.




Robed in a silken robe that shines and shakes,
She seems to dance whene’er she treads the sod,
Like the long serpent that a fakir makes
Dance to the waving cadence of a rod.

As the sad sand upon the desert’s verge,
Insensible to mortal grief and strife;
As the long weeds that float among the surge,
She folds indifference round her budding life.

Her eyes are carved of minerals pure and cold,
And in her strange symbolic nature where
An angel mingles with the sphinx of old,

Where all is gold and steel and light and air,
For ever, like a vain star, unafraid
Shines the cold hauteur of the sterile maid.


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.