Theophile Gautier

(1811-1872 / France)

The Phantom Of The Rose - Poem by Theophile Gautier

Sweet lady, let your lids unclose.--
Those lids by maiden dreams caressed;
I am the phantom of the rose
You wore last night upon your breast.
Like pearls upon my petals lay
The weeping fountain's silver tears,
Ere in the glittering array
You bore me proudly 'mid your peers.

O lady, 'twas for you I died--
Yet have I come and will I stay;
My rosy phantom by your side
Will linger till the break of day.
Yet fear not, lady; naught claim I--
Nor mass, nor hymn, or funeral prayer;
My soul is but a perfumed sigh,
Which pure from Paradise I bear.

My death is as my life was--sweet;
Who would not die as I have done?
A fate like mine who would not meet,
Your bosom fair to lie upon?
A poet on my sentient tomb
Engraved this legend with a kiss:
'Here lies a rose of fairest bloom;
E'en kings are jealous of its bliss.

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Comments about The Phantom Of The Rose by Theophile Gautier

  • (6/11/2018 10:27:00 PM)


    This reminds me when my dad left me (Report) Reply

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  • Shareq Rahman (11/13/2016 1:14:00 AM)

    Good Translation.
    The original in French is like this:

    Le Spectre De La Rose.

    Soulève ta paupière close
    Qu'effleure un songe virginal;
    Je suis le spectre d'une rose
    Que tu portais hier au bal.
    Tu me pris encore emperlée
    Des pleurs d'argent de l'arrosoir,
    Et parmi la fête étoilée
    Tu me promenas tout le soir.

    O toi qui de ma mort fus cause,
    Sans que tu puisses le chasser,
    Toute la nuit mon spectre rose
    A ton chevet viendra danser.
    Mais ne crains rien, je ne réclame
    Ni messe ni De profundis;
    Ce léger parfum est mon âme,
    Et j'arrive du paradis.

    Mon destin fut digne d'envie:
    Pour avoir un trépas si beau,
    Plus d'un aurait donné sa vie,
    Car j'ai ta gorge pour tombeau,

    sur l'albâtre où je repose
    Un poëte avec un baiser
    Écrivit: Ci-gît une rose
    Que tous les rois vont jalouser.
    (Report) Reply

  • Shareq Rahman (11/13/2016 12:54:00 AM)

    Compare Rabindranath to Gautier.
    Compare with this Poem by Rabindranath. Will give my full translation soon.

    Song of the jasmine flower.

    Love me my dear
    and write my name
    with love and care
    in the temple of your heart

    Learn the beat of the song
    playing in my garden
    on your ankle bells

    Hold with love and care
    a singing bird of my garden
    in the rooms of your palace

    Remember, my dear
    to make a string of flowers
    and wear near your golden bracelet

    Forgetfully take a bud from my shoots
    and put it in your shining pendant
    hanging near your bosom.
    (Report) Reply

  • Mr Salte (9/2/2016 10:47:00 PM)


    Am gotta tell my friends about a great poet I met, who writes romantic poems as none. (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (8/31/2016 9:30:00 PM)


    I have never read Gautier before, but this poem leaves me short on words. It is sweet melody in ink... verses from the garden of Eden that reaches my soul and leaves it elevated, happy and in bliss. Much like the poet says:
    'Here lies a rose of fairest bloom;
    E'en kings are jealous of its bliss.

    The poet deserves a full 100 instead of 10 points for this marvelous piece of writing!
    (Report) Reply

  • Daniel Brick (8/31/2016 9:26:00 PM)


    This poem embodies what John Ruskin called THE PATHETIC FALLACY, that is giving human emotins to non-human things. He meant it as a negative criticism. But don't WE POETS believe in sharing our human powers and virtues with the rest of creation? We definitely should increase the range of feelings and the degrees of consciousness: We are ALL BEINGS OF THE WORLD! ! Hector Berlioz set six of Gautier's to the most lush orchestral music with soprano. He called the set Summer Nights (LES NUITS D'ETE OPUS 7) . This poem is the second and the setting is heart-breaking. If you liked reading this poem, I urge you to listen to Berlioz's setting. You will be uplifted so far above that old stick in the mud John Ruskin who shut doors where Gautier/Berlioz opened them wide so that you can f-l-y across the summer night! ! (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (8/31/2016 4:07:00 PM)


    This is so beautifully gorgeously sensually romantic. They didn't mind a touch of sentimentality, a dash of overwhelming, and a cup of wistful sighs! ! ! ! Love it. It is just so.... romantic! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    My soul is but a perfumed sigh, - - - - - - - - - - - - oh, I think I fainted from such incredible loveliness
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2016 12:00:00 PM)


    My death is as my life was- sweet;
    Here lies a rose of fairest bloom;
    Even kings are jealous of it's bliss.
    Simple yet very imaginative lines. Thanks for sharing it here.
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2016 7:35:00 AM)


    Sounds better in French? MM (Report) Reply

  • Gandalf The Grey (8/31/2016 3:52:00 AM)


    My death is as my life was- sweet;
    Who would not die as I have done?
    very impressive
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2016 3:01:00 AM)


    A fine translation of one of my favourite 19th Century French poets. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/31/2016 1:22:00 AM)


    My soul is but a perfumed sigh! ! Nice piece of work. (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (8/31/2016 12:07:00 AM)


    A fate like mine who would not meet,
    Your bosom fair to lie upon?
    A poet on my sentient tomb
    Engraved this legend with a kiss:
    'Here lies a rose of fairest bloom;
    E'en kings are jealous of its bliss.
    Beautiful verse. Thanks for sharing.10 for it.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010



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