Les Bijoux (“The Jewels”)
by Charles Baudelaire
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
My lover **** and knowing my heart's whims
Wore nothing more than a few bright-flashing gems;
Her art was saving men despite their sins—
She ruled like harem girls crowned with diadems!
She danced for me with a gay but mocking air,
My world of stone and metal sparking bright;
I discovered in her the rapture of everything fair—
Nay, an excess of joy where the spirit and flesh unite!
Naked she lay and offered herself to me,
Parting her legs and smiling receptively,
As gentle and yet profound as the rising sea—
Till her surging tide encountered my cliff, abruptly.
A tigress tamed, her eyes met mine, intent ...
Intent on lust, content to purr and please!
Her breath, both languid and lascivious, lent
An odd charm to her metamorphoses.
Her limbs, her *****, her abdomen, her thighs,
Oiled alabaster, sinuous as a swan,
Writhed pale before my calm clairvoyant eyes;
Like clustered grapes her ******* and belly shone.
Skilled in more spells than evil imps can muster,
To break the peace which had possessed my heart,
She flashed her crystal rocks’ hypnotic luster
Till my quietude was shattered, blown apart.
Her waist awrithe, her ******* enormously
Out-******, and yet ... and yet, somehow, still coy ...
As if stout haunches of Antiope
Had been grafted to a boy ...
The room grew dark, the lamp had flickered out,
Till firelight, alone, lit each glowing stud;
Each time the fire sighed, as if in doubt,
It steeped her pale, rouged flesh in pools of blood.
Keywords/Tags: Baudelaire, translation, French, jewels, gems, lover, ****, stone, metal, spirit, flesh, body, naked, ****, legs, cleft, groin, tigress, animal passion, lust, *****, thighs, hips, *******, belly, blood