That marvellous landscape of my dream — / Which no eye knows, nor ever will — / At moments, wide awake, I seem / To grasp, and it excites me still. . . .
Blue sheets of water, left and right, / Spread between quays of rose and green, / To the world’s end and out of sight, / And still expanded, though unseen.
Enchanted rivers, those — with jade / And jasper were their banks bedecked; / Enormous mirrors, dazzled, made / Dizzy by all they did reflect.
And many a Ganges, taciturn / And heedless, in the vaulted air, / Poured out of the treasure of its urn / Into a gulf of diamond there.
As architect, it tempted me / To tame the ocean at its source; / And this I did, — I made the sea / Under a jewelled culvert course.
And every colour, even black, / Became prismatic, polished, bright; / The liquid gave its glory back / Mounted in iridescent light.
—Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), "Parisian Dream," translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1936.