The Flâneur

Paris > A Une Passante

A Une Passante (To a Woman Passing)

Charles Baudelaire (1860)

The deafening street around me roared.
Tall, slender, in deep mourning, stately suffering,
A woman passes, one luxurious hand
Raising, swaying her scallop and hem;

Lithe and noble, with leg statuesque.
Me, I drank, tense like one wild,
In her eye, a sky pallid with the beginnings of a storm,
The softness which fascinates and the pleasure that kills.

A flash of lightning - then the night! Fugitive beauty
Whose glance suddenly returned me to life,
Shall I not see you again in all eternity?

Elsewhere, far from here! Too late! Never perhaps!
For I do not know where you flee, you do not know where I go,
O you whom I could have loved, o you who knew that!