La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
Et d'autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens.
The natural world is a spiritual house, where the pillars, that are alive,
let slip at times some strangely garbled words;
Man walks there through forests of physical things that are also spiritual things,
that watch him with affectionate looks.
As the echoes of great bells coming from a long way off
become entangled in a deep and profound association,
a merging as huge as night or as huge as clear light,
odors and colors and sounds all mean—each other.
Perfumes exist that are as cool as the flesh of infants,
fragile as oboes, green as open fields,
and others exist also, corrupt, dense, and triumphant,
having the suggestions of infinite things,
such as musk and amber, myrrh and incense,
that describe the voyages of the body and soul.
Robert Bly, from News of the Universe: poems of two fold consciousness
The pillars of Nature's temple are alive
and sometimes yield perplexing messages;
forests of symbols between us and the shrine
remark our passage with accustomed eyes.
Like long-held echoes. blending somewhere else
into one deep and shadowy unison
as limitless as darkness and as day,
the sounds, the scents, the colors correspond.
There are odors succulent as young flesh,
sweet as flutes, and green as any grass,
while others—rich, corrupt and masterful—
possess the power of such infinite things
as incense, amber, benjamin and musk.
to praise the sense's raptures and the mind's.
Richard Howard, from Les Fleurs du Mal
Nature's a temple whose living colonnades
Breathe forth a mystic speech in fitful sighs;
Man wanders among symbols in those glades,
Where all things watch him with familiar eyes.
Like dwindling echoes gathered far away
Into a deep and thronging unison
Huge as the night or as the light of day,
All scents and sounds and colors meet as one.
Perfumes there are as sweet as the oboe's sound,
Green as the prairies, fresh as a child's caress,
—And there are others, rich, corrupt, profound
And of an infinite pervasiveness,
Like myrrh, or musk, or amber, that excite
The ecstasies of sense, the soul's delight.
Richard Wilbur, from Mayflies