Feverish lovers, scholars in their lofts,
Both come in their due time to love the cat;
Gentle but powerful, king of the parlor mat,
Lazy, like them, and sensitive to draughts.
Your cat, now, linked to learning and to love,
Exhibits a taste for silences and gloom-
Would make a splendid messenger of doom
If his fierce pride would condescend to serve.
Lost in his day-dream, he assumes the pose
Of sphinxes in the desert, languidly
Fixed in a reverie that has no end.
His loins are lit with the fires of alchemy,
And bits of gold, small as the finest sand,
Fleck, here and there, the mystery of his eyes.
(Translated by Anthony Hecht
Les Fleurs du Mal
-Spleen et Ideal
-Bile And The Idea