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Baudelaire, Charles - Hymne à la Beauté



Type of spiritual experience


I have put the french version first and then my translation second

A description of the experience

From Hymne à la Beauté – Charles Baudelaire

 L'éphémère ébloui vole vers toi, chandelle,
Crépite, flambe et dit: Bénissons ce flambeau!
L'amoureux pantelant incliné sur sa belle
A l'air d'un moribond caressant son tombeau.

 Que tu viennes du ciel ou de l'enfer, qu'importe,
Ô Beauté! monstre énorme, effrayant, ingénu!
Si ton oeil, ton souris, ton pied, m'ouvrent la porte
D'un Infini que j'aime et n'ai jamais connu?

 De Satan ou de Dieu, qu'importe? Ange ou Sirène,
Qu'importe, si tu rends, — fée aux yeux de velours,
Rythme, parfum, lueur, ô mon unique reine! —
L'univers moins hideux et les instants moins lourds?


Hymn to Beauty – Charles Baudelaire 

The dazzled moth flies towards you, the candle,
Crackles, flares, and says bless this flame.
The panting lover bent over his fair love,
Has the air of a dying man, caressing his tomb.

If you come from heaven or hell it does not matter,
O beauty, huge, terrifying, innocent monster!
If your eye, your smile, your foot can open the door
To an Infinity that I love and that I have never known.

From Satan or from God, what does it matter?  Angel or Siren
What does it matter? If you can give it to me - velvet eyed fairy
Rhythm, perfume, glittering, o my unique queen
The universe less hidden and the present less heavy

The source of the experience

Baudelaire, Charles

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image