Charles Baudelaire; Fred Beake (Translator): The Albatross



Often for fun
	     crewmen catch albatrosses
great ones of the ocean
		       that follow

casual companions
		 of the voyage

as the ship glides over
		       the deathly deep

No sooner are they laid
		       on the planks
than the Kings of Blue Heaven
			     are awkward
ashamed
       letting
their wings
	   trail
like oars
	 beside them

winged voyager
	      gauche
despicable

lovely sky swimmer
		  a graceless joke

and someone would put
		     a pipe in its beak
and someone hobbles
		  to mimic
the cripple
	   who flew

and the Poet
	    is like
this cloud prince
		 who delights in the storm
and mocks
	 at the archer
but exiled to Earth
		   and derision
the size of his wings
		     snarls his walk