Oh woolly fleece, curling all the way down to your shoulders!Oh ringlets! Oh perfume imbued with nonchalance!
Ecstasy! In order to populate our dim retreat this evening
With the memories slumbering in your hair,
I would like to wave it like a handkerchief in the air!
Languid Asia and burning Africa,
An entire distant world, absent, almost dying,
Lives in your depths, aromatic forest!
As other spirits sail upon music,
Mine, oh my love! swims in your perfume.
I will go down there, where trees and men, full of sap,
Long swoon under the heat of the climate;
Powerful tresses, be the surging wave that carries me off!
You hold, sea of ebony, a dazzling dream
Of sails, of oarsmen, of pennants and masts:
A sonorous port where my soul can drink in
Great torrents of perfume, sound and color;
Where ships, gliding through gold and shimmering silk
Open their vast arms to embrace the glory
Of a pure sky in which eternal warmth trembles.
I will plunge my head, amorous of drunkenness,
Into that black ocean that contains the other ocean;
And my cunning spirit, caressed by the rolling waves,
Will again find you, oh fecund indolence,
Infinite rocking in the cradle of perfumed leisure!
Blue tresses, tent pitched from shadows,
You render the azure sky immense and round;
On the downy edges of your twisted locks
I am ardently intoxicated by the mingled scents
Of coconut oil, musk, and pine-tar.
For a long time! Forever! my hand will strew
Rubies, pearls, and sapphires in your heavy mane
So that you will never be deaf to my desires!
Are you not the oasis of which I dream, and the flask
From which I eagerly drink long draughts of the wine of memory?
-Charles Baudelaire, Spleen and Ideal