The Temptation



THE Demon, in my chamber high,

This morning came to visit me,

And, thinking he would find some fault,

He whispered: “I would know of thee



Among the many lovely things

That make the magic of her face,

Among the beauties, black and rose,

That make her body’s charm and grace,


Which is most fair?” Thou didst reply

To the Abhorred, O soul of mine:

“No single beauty is the best

When she is all one flower divine.


When all things charm me I ignore

Which one alone brings most delight;

She shines before me like the dawn,

And she consoles me like the night.


The harmony is far too great,

That governs all her body fair,

For impotence to analyse

And say which note is sweetest there.


O mystic metamorphosis!

My senses into one sense flow–

Her voice makes perfume when she speaks,

Her breath is music faint and low!”


Charles Baudelaire

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