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The Rhyme Maker

Charles Baudelaire

Themes:  Love and Romance (the dark side)
                       Wine Musings

Special Rhyme List:  Copyrighted poetry

Hymne ŕ la Beauté  (original French) audio

Other English translations:
Hymn To Beauty (1909 Scott)  A/V
Hymn To Beauty (1919 Robertson)
Hymn To Beauty (1928 Martin)

S. H. Bass
also contributes original poetry to, as well as more translations.
- S.H. Bass  

Translator's Note:
“English verse by S.H. Bass . . .” is the translator's credit line that accompany seven (7) poems that are posted here at  As I struggled to choose poems for this site (and the anthology, Bottled Poetry: Verses from the Vine), the public domain translations (if any) that I discovered, I found lacking in some respect or another.  Frustrated, I thought “I could do a better job myself” – and so I did! 

There is an established tradition for poets using other's and/or verbatim translations to transmute foreign language poems into English verse. 

- S. H. Bass  

more Charles Baudelaire at
from Les fluers du mal (The Flowers of Evil):
The Soul Of Wine  
The Wine Of Lovers * A/V
The Wine Of The Murderer*
The Wine Of The Rag-Pickers 
The Wine Of The Solitary*

Prose poems:
Be Drunk* A/V
The Thyrsus:  To Franz Liszt

* multiple Englsh translations

Stop Button Clutter sign.
Hymn to Beauty
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet
English verse by S.H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet

O Beauty! Are you Heaven’s blessing or Hell’s
dark spill?
From your gaze, both demonic and divine,
Pours a confusing blend of health and ill,
So one finds in you a likeness with wine:

Your eyes are dawn and twilight; they beguile.
Your perfume the soft wind in tempest's wake.
Your kiss a philtre, from an amphora smile
That makes the child bold, and bold men

Are you birthed from the stars or this dark
You seed betrayal and love without aim.
At your heel, Fate's your obedient hound.
You rule over all and to none grant claim.

Over the dead, you sashay about.
Among your jewels, horror takes her place,
Murder is a bauble you proudly flout
Against your breast, your most alluring space.

Drawn to your fire, the wee insects dance,
And crackle and burn in their joy-filled doom.
The lover’s embrace, in his mistress' trance,
Is a dead man’s caress of his own tomb.

Heaven or Hell? Does it matter at all?
O ingenious monster, obscure and alone
Who with one glance, one smile, one foot-fall –
Points to that Infinite I love, but have never

From God or Satan? Angel’s song or Siren’s
It matters not, my voluptuous Queen, my blithe sprite
Whose rhythms, perfumes, and visions - even as I fall,
Makes the world less hideous and the hours less trite.

from Bottled Poetry: Verses From The Vine, edited by Stephen H. Bass (Robinsonville, MS: Spilt Wine Publishing Co. 2013).   English translation copyright ©2013 Stephen H. Bass.  All rights reserved.  Posted at with the permission of Stephen H. Bass.  


Les Fluers du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)
 by Charles Baudelaire / Richard Howard (trans.)

  French and English.  
  Award-winning translation


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