Here you will find the Long Poem Voyage to Cythera of poet Charles Baudelaire
Free as a bird and joyfully my heart Soared up among the rigging, in and out; Under a cloudless sky the ship rolled on Like an angel drunk with brilliant sun. "That dark, grim island there--which would that be?" "Cythera," we're told, "the legendary isle Old bachelors tell stories of and smile. There's really not much to it, you can see." O place of many a mystic sacrament! Archaic Aphrodite's splendid shade Lingers above your waters like a scent Infusing spirits with an amorous mood. Worshipped from of old by every nation, Myrtle-green isle, where each new bud discloses Sighs of souls in loving adoration Breathing like incense from a bank of roses Or like a dove roo-cooing endlessly . . . No; Cythera was a poor infertile rock, A stony desert harrowed by the shriek Of gulls. And yet there was something to see: This was no temple deep in flowers and trees With a young priestess moving to and fro, Her body heated by a secret glow, Her robe half-opening to every breeze; But coasting nearer, close enough to land To scatter flocks of birds as we passed by, We saw a tall cypress-shaped thing at hand-- A triple gibbet black against the sky. Ferocious birds, each perched on its own meal, Were madly tearing at the thing that hung And ripened; each, its filthy beak a drill, Made little bleeding holes to root among. The eyes were hollowed. Heavy guts cascading Flowed like water halfway down the thighs; The torturers, though gorged on these vile joys, Had also put their beaks to use castrating The corpse. A pack of dogs beneath its feet, Their muzzles lifted, whirled and snapped and gnawed; One bigger beast amidst this jealous lot Looked like an executioner with his guard. O Cytherean, child of this fair clime, Silently you suffered these attacks, Paying the penalty for whatever acts Of infamy had kept you from a tomb. Grotesquely dangling, somehow you brought on-- Violent as vomit rising from the chest, Strong as a river bilious to taste-- A flow of sufferings I'd thought long gone. Confronted with such dear remembered freight, Poor devil, now it was my turn to feel A panther's slavering jaws, a beak's cruel drill-- Once it was my flesh they loved to eat. The sky was lovely, and the sea divine, but something thick and binding like a shroud Wrapped my heart in layers of black and blood; Henceforth this allegory would be mine. O Venus! On your isle what did I see But my own image on the gallows tree? O God, give me the strength to contemplate My own heart, my own body without hate!