Do you come from the depths of heaven or up from the pit, o Beauty? The look of your eyes, hellish and divine, pours out indiscriminately blessings and crime, and that is why you can be compared to wine.
You hold in your eyes sunset and dawn; you exude perfumes like a stormy evening; your kisses are a philtre and your mouth an amphora that make the hero cowardly and the boy courageous.
Do you come from the black gulf or down from the stars? Destiny, spellbound, follows your petticoats like a dog; you sow at random joy and disasters, and you rule everything and answer for nothing.
You walk over dead men, Beauty, for whom you care nothing; of your jewels Horror is not least charming, and Murder, among your dearest trinkets, there on your proud belly dances amorously.
The dazzled moth flies towards you, the candle, crackles, flares up and says "Let us bless this light." The panting lover bent over his fair one looks like a dying man caressing his tomb.
Let it be heaven or hell you come from, what do I care, o Beauty, huge, terrifying, innocent monster, if your eye, your smile, your foot can open the door for me to an Infinite that I love and that I have never known.
From Satan or from God, what does it matter? Angel or Siren, what matter, if - velvet-eyed fairy, rhythm, perfume, gleaming, o my only queen - you make the universe less hideous and the passing seconds less heavy?
- Baudelaire - Les Fleurs du Mal
Whispers of heavenly death murmur'd I hear,
Labial gossip of night, sibilant chorals,
Footsteps gently ascending, mystical breezes wafted soft and low,
Ripples of unseen rivers, tides of a current flowing, forever flowing.
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)
I see, just see skyward, great cloud-masses,
Mournfully, slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing,
With at times a half-dimm'd, sadden'd far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.
(Some parturition rather, some solemn immortal birth;
On the frontiers to eyes impenetrable,
Some soul is passing over.)
- Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass