BEING CLEOPATRA: Cleopatra Through the Artist's Eye: Michael Parkes & Albert Samain

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cleopatra Through the Artist's Eye: Michael Parkes & Albert Samain

Michael Parkes

By Albert Samain
Translated by Jethro Bithell

I LEANING in silence on the tower-rampart,
The Queen, whose blue hair a silk fillet spans,
In the troubled incense of perfuming-pans,
Feels, Love immense, thy sea mount in her heart.

On the piled, falling cushions of her seat
With violet eyelids moving not she rests;
The collars of thick gold heaved by her breasts
Betray her silent, languorous fever-heat.

A rose farewell floats on the pyramids,
Eve droops a shadow from his velvet lids;
And while afar the crocodiles are weeping,

Clenching her fingers, sighing into the air,
She shakes to feel lascivious and creeping
Hands, which in the wind exhaust her hair.


The heavy night weighs the dark River down ...
The Queen, beneath the stars upon one knee,
Suddenly pale while all her women flee
With unchaste gesture open rips her gown.

On the high terrace desperately she shows,
Love-swollen like a falling fruit, her lithe,
Her virgin body that does naked writhe
In the warm and greedy wind, a snake that glows.

She wills, and her wild eyes dart lightnings white,
That the scent of her flesh upon the world be blown ...
O sombre sea-flower scattered on the night!

And the dumb Sphinx feels in his stubborn stone,
Upon the weary sands, a fire awaken;
And the vast desert under him has shaken.

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