Knowing my heart, my dearest one was nude,
Her resonating jewellery all she wore,
Which rich array gave her the attitude
Of darling in the harem of a Moor.
When dancing, ringing out its mockeries,
This radiating world of gold and stones
Ravishes me to lovers' ecstasies
Over the interplay of lights and tones.
Allowing love, she lay seductively
And from the high divan smiled in her ease
At my love - ocean's deep felicity
Mounting to her as tides draw in the seas.
A tiger tamed, her eyes were fixed on mine,
With absent air she posed in novel ways,
Whose candour and lubricity combined
Made charming all her metamorphoses;
Her shoulders and her arms, her legs, her thighs,
Polished with oil, undulent like a swan,
Passed by my tranquil and clairvoyant eyes;
Then belly, breasts, those clusters on my vine,
Came on, tempting me more than devils could
To break the peace my soul claimed as its own,
And to disturb the crystal rock abode
Where distant, calm, it had assumed its throne.
Her waist contrasted with her haunches so
It seemed to me I saw, in new design,
A boy above, Antiope below.
The painting on her brown skin was sublime!
- And since the lamp resigned itsef to die,
The hearth alone lit up the room within;
Each time it uttered forth a blazing sigh
It washed with tones of blood her amber skin.
Přeložil James McGowan