Correspondences

(From the French of Charles Baudelaire)

All nature is a temple where the alive
Pillars breathe often a tremor of mixed words;
Man wanders in a forest of accords
That peer familiarly from each ogive.

Like thinning echoes tumbling to sleep beyond
In a unity umbrageous and infinite,
Vast as the night stupendously moonlit,
All smells and colors and sounds correspond.

Odors blown sweet as infants' naked flesh,
Soft as oboes, green as a studded plain,
Others, corrupt, rich and triumphant, thresh

Expansions to the infinite of pain:
Amber and myrrh, benzoin and musk condense
To transports of the spirit and the sense!

by Allen Tate

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