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The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.

Charles Baudelaire

the ideal

Not all the beauties in old prints vignetted,
The worthless products of an outworn age,
With slippered feet and fingers castanetted,
The thirst of hearts like this heart can assuage.

To Gavarni, the poet of chloroses,
I leave his troupes of beauties sick and wan;
I cannot find among these 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
Her beauty fashioned for a giant's delight!