Today's Beautiful Gem: `The Stranger' by Charles Baudelaire
translated from French by Michael Benedict

"--Tell me, you enigmatical man, whom do you love the most?
Your father or your mother, your sister or your brother?
--I have neither father, mother, sister, nor brother.
--Your friends, then?
--You're using a word which has thus far remained beyond
the range of my vocabulary.
--Your country?
--I haven't the remotest notion of the latitude in which it
is situated.
--Yes, Beauty I could care for, but Beauty as a goddess,
deathless and divine.
--I hate the gold the way you hate God.
--So, out with it then: what thing is to your liking,
you extraordinary stranger.
--I love the clouds... the passing clouds...
the ones drifting around up there... way up there...
those marvelous clouds!"

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao