Benediction Print
By Charles Baudelaire   
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Blessèd be You, O God, who give us pain,
As cure for our impurity and wrong —
Essence that primes the stalwart to sustain
Seraphic raptures that were else too strong.

I know that for the Poet You've a post,
Where the blest Legions take their ranks and stations,
Invited to the revels with the host
Of Virtues, Powers, and Thrones, and Dominations

That grief's the sole nobility, I know it,
Where neither Earth nor Hell can make attacks,
And that, to deck my mystic crown of poet,
All times and universes paid their tax.

But all the gems from old Palmyra lost,
The ores unmixed, the pearls of the abyss,
Set by Your hand, could not suffice the cost
Of such a blazing diadem as this.

Because it will be only made of light,
Drawn from the hearth of the essential rays,
To which our mortal eyes, when burning bright,
Are but the tarnished mirrors that they glaze.

— trans. by Roy Campbell
 

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