|You would have the whole universe in your
You would have the whole universe in
Impure woman! Boredom renders your soul cruel.
To exercise your teeth upon this odd knickknack,
Every day you need a heart upon the rack.
Your eyes, lighted up like storefronts with their wares
And yew-trees all aflame on nights of public fairs,
Insolently use a power without duty,
Never knowing at all what is the law of their beauty.
Blind and deaf machine, with cruelties a-flood!
Salutary tool, drinker of this world’s blood,
How have you no shame and how not once at all
Before each single mirror seen your charms grow pale?
The greatness of this evil at which you think you’re clever
Doesn’t make you then recoil at all in terror,
When nature on its own, great in its hidden scheme,
Makes use of you, o woman, o of sinners the queen,
—You, base animal—to shape a genius fine?
O greatness in what muck! ignominy sublime!
tr. Christopher Mulrooney