To Theodore de Banville
You've gripped the hair the goddess had let down
In such a fist, one might take you to be,
Seeing your nonchalance, your mastery,
A roughneck boy who throws his whore around.
Your clear eye fired with precocity,
Builder, you show us structures in your pride
Whose bold correctness helps us to decide
What we may hope from your maturity.
Poet, our blood flows out by every pore;
Could it be that the robe of the Centaur
That turned each vein into a stream of red,
Was dyed three times within the subtle slime
Of those same snakes, so spiteful and malign,
Hercules strangled in his cradle-bed?
Přeložil James McGowan