The old perfumer gazes on the lake.
There since the dawn, his senses overcome
the memories that time will never shake.

Fresh is the grass to watch the morning's break,
and on the bank, awash with fumes of calm,
the old perfumer gazes on the lake.

The musk of leaves, their falling as they flake-
he almost tastes the wines of Yunnan plum
with memories that time will never shake.

They rush and rise, at once they overtake-
the gasp of gin, the gall of Indian gum;
the old perfumer gazes on the lake

As opium's specter yawns. Her scents retake
his nose- but then, the sting of wild napalm,
with memories that time will never shake;

With fetid war, with sweat in passion's quake,
with blood, with salty tears, with ragged rum,
the old perfumer gazes on the lake
with memories that time will never shake.