Apollon, qui pleurait le trépas d’Hyacinthe,
Ne voulait pas céder la victoire à la mort.
Il fallait que son âme, adepte de l’essor,
Trouvât pour la beauté une alchimie plus sainte.
Donc, de sa main céleste il épuise, il éreinte
Les dons les plus subtils de la divine Flore.
Leurs corps brisés soupirent une exhalaison d’or
Dont il nous recueillait la goutte de l’Absinthe!
Aux cavernes blotties, aux palais pétillants,
Par un, par deux, buvez ce breuvage d’aimant.
Car c’est un sortilège, un propos de dictame;
Ce vin d’opal pale avortit la misère,
Ouvre de la beauté l’intime sanctuaire
— Ensorcelle mon cœur, extasie mon âme!


Apollo, who mourned at Hyacinthe’s demise,
Refused to concede this victory to Death.
Much better that the soul, adept in transformation,
Had to find a holy alchemy for beauty.
Thus with his celestial hand he drained and crushed
The subtlest harvest of the garden goddess,
The broken bodies of the herbs yielding a golden essence
From which we measure out our first drop—of Absinthe!
In lowly hovels and in glittering courts,
Alone, in pairs, drink up this potion of desire!
For it is sorcery—as one might say—
When the pale opal wine ends all misery,
Opens beauty's most intimate sanctuary—
—Bewitches my heart, and exalts my soul in ecstasy!


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