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    Charles Baudelaire - Invitation To The Voyage

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    Charles Baudelaire - Invitation To The Voyage - Read by Benjamin Soames

    Invitation To The Voyage
    by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

    Imagine the magic
    of living together
    there, with all the time in the world
    for loving each other,
    for loving and dying
    where even the landscape resembles you:
    the suns dissolved
    in overcast skies
    have the same mysterious charm for me
    as your wayward eyes
    through crystal tears,
    my sister, my child!

    All is order there, and elegance,
    pleasure, peace, and opulence.

    Furniture gleaming
    with the patina
    of time itself in the room we would share;
    the rarest flowers
    mingling aromas
    with amber's uncertain redolence;
    encrusted ceilings
    echoed in mirrors
    and Eastern splendor on the walls -
    here all would whisper
    to the soul in secret
    her sweet mother tongue.

    All is order there, and elegance,
    pleasure, peace, and opulence.

    On these still canals
    the freighters doze
    fitfully: their mood is for roving,
    and only to flatter
    a lover's fancy
    have they put in from the ends of the earth.
    By late afternoon
    the canals catch fire
    as sunset glorifies the town;
    the world turns to gold
    as it falls asleep
    in a fervent light.

    All is order there, and elegance,
    pleasure, peace, and opulence.

    - Translated by Richard Howard