La vie antérieure
A Former Life


I have lived under the great gates
Tinted by the sea with a thousand lights,
Their erect and regal columns
Made to look, by the evening sun, like columns of black rock.

The slow swell shaping the image of the skies
Blended solemnly, mystically,
The great chords of its own vast music
With the sunset colours reflected in my eyes.

There I lived in sensual serenity
Among the skies, the waters, the splendours,
Whilst naked slaves showered in perfume
Soothed my brow with palm fronds,
Their sole purpose to deepen
The secret melancholy, the cause of my languor.