by Charles Baudelaire
I am as beautiful, O mortals! as a dream of stone,
And my breast, on which each man is wounded in turn,
Is made to inspire in the poet a love
As eternal and mute as matter.
I preside in the heavens like a misunderstood sphinx;
I unite a heart of snow with the whiteness of swans;
I hate all movement which displaces lines,
And I never weep and never laugh.
The poets before my great poses,
Which I seem to borrow from the proudest monuments,
Will consume their days in austere studies;
For I have, in order to fascinate these docile lovers,
Pure mirrors which make all things more beautiful:
My eyes, my large eyes with their eternal light!