Lyn Pass


The Insulted Moon
A translation of Charles Baudelaire's La Lune Offendee

Oh Moon, discreetly honored by our elders,
In your high blue birthplace where radiant constellations
Fit for a sultan's palace continuously attend you,
My old Cynthia, lantern of our secret places,

Do you see spent lovers on their teeming beds,
Their sleeping mouths moist and fresh, see
The poet's brow furrowed over her work,
Or little snakes at it in the dry grass?

Do you still travel in your yellow domino
From evening until dawn, taking clandestine steps
To kiss Endymion's enduring charms?

"I see your mother, child of this impoverished age,
Shove her drooping heap of years towards her mirror,
Artistically touching up the breast that suckled you!"