It’s probably cheating to post other people’s posts,  but if you haven’t read this translation by Language Hat of a poem by Nikolai Gumilev  then do so now:
     
Giraffe
Today I can see that your look is especially sad
And your arms are especially fragile, as if made of chaff.
Listen, my dear: far away, by the shores of Lake Chad,
Roams the exquisite giraffe.

It was granted the gift of proportion, voluptuous grace,
And its skin is adorned with a pattern remarkably fine:
Only the moon, smashed to pieces, descended from space
To rock in lake water, could dare try to match its design.

From afar it resembles a caravel’s colorful sail,
And its gait is as smooth as the frigatebird’s radiant flight.
I know the world sees many wonders in all their detail
When it takes to a grotto of marble for refuge at night.

I know all those stories of maidens who’ve never been kissed
And of passionate princes who rule a mysterious plain,
But you have inhaled for too long the lugubrious mist,
You no longer desire to believe anything but the rain.

And how can I tell you of faraway creatures that pad
Among tropical palms, among flowers too fragrant by half…
You’re crying? But listen: far off, by the shores of Lake Chad,
Roams the exquisite giraffe.

    —Nikolai Gumilev (tr. Stephen Dodson)

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