Charles Baudelaire: Exotic Perfume

WHEN with closed eyes in autumn’s eves of gold
I breathe the burning odours of your breast,
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest
Bathed in the sun’s monotonous fires, unfold.

Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs
Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down,
Where men are upright, maids have never grown
Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows.

Led by that perfume to these lands of ease,
I see a port where many ships have flown
With sails outwearied of the wandering seas;

While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown,
Float to my soul and in my senses throng,
And mingle vaguely with the sailor’s song.

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