For a Creole Lady
by Charles Baudelaire
1821 – 1867
Off in a perfumed land bathed gently by the sun,
Under a palm tree’s shade tinged with a crimson trace,
A place where indolence drops on the eyes like rain,
I met a Creole lady of unstudied grace.
This brown enchantress’ skin is warm and light in tone;
Her neck is noble, proud, her manner dignified;
Slender and tall, she goes with huntress’ easy stride;
Her smile is tranquil, and her eyes are confident.
Madame, if you should come to place of pride and praise
Beside the green Loire, or by the pleasant Seine,
Adorning ancient mansions with your stately ways
There in the shelter of the shady groves, you’d start
A thousand sonnets blooming in the poets’ hearts,
Whom your great eyes would turn to sycophants and slaves.