Je T'Adore À L'Égal De La Voûte Nocturne (More Than Night's Vault, It's You That I Adore)

written by Charles Baudelaire

Je T'Adore À L'Égal De La Voûte Nocturne (More Than Night's Vault, It's You That I Adore)

— Charles Baudelaire

Je t'adore à l'égal de la voûte nocturne,
Ô vase de tristesse, ô grande taciturne,
Et t'aime d'autant plus, belle, que tu me fuis,
Et que tu me parais, ornement de mes nuits,
Plus ironiquement accumuler les lieues
Qui séparent mes bras des immensités bleues.

Je m'avance à l'attaque, et je grimpe aux assauts,
Comme après un cadavre un choeur de vermisseaux,
Et je chéris, ô bête implacable et cruelle!
Jusqu'à cette froideur par où tu m'es plus belle!

I Adore You as Much as the Nocturnal Vault...

I adore you as much as the nocturnal vault,
O vase of sadness, most taciturn one,
I love you all the more because you flee from me,
And because you appear, ornament of my nights,
More ironically to multiply the leagues
That separate my arms from the blue infinite.

I advance to attack, and I climb to assault,
Like a swarm of maggots after a cadaver,
And I cherish, implacable and cruel beast,
Even that coldness which makes you more beautiful.


— Translated by William Aggeler

More Than Night's Vault, It's You That I Adore

More than night's vault, it's you that I adore,
Vessel of sorrow, silent one, the more
Because you flee from me, and seem to place,
Ornament of my nights! more leagues of space
Ironically between me and you
Than part me from these vastitudes of blue.

I charge, attack, and mount to the assault
As worms attack a corpse within a vault.
And cherish even the coldness that you boast,
By which, harsh beast, you subjugate me most.


— Translated by Roy Campbell

I Worship You

I worship you, O proud and taciturn,
As I do night's high vault; O sorrow's urn,
I love you all the more because you flee
And seem, gem of my nights, ironically
To multiply the weary leagues that sunder
My arms from all infinity's blue wonder.

I skirmish and I climb to the attack,
I, a worms' chorus on a corpse's back,
O fierce cruel beast, I cherish to the full
The very chill that makes you beautiful.


— Translated by Jacques LeClercq

About the poet


Charles Baudelaire

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience Baudelaire the poet “ Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of...

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