Poem for the day


by: Charles Baudelaire

    • AN we suppress the old Remorse
      Who bends our heart beneath his stroke,
      Who feeds, as worms feed on the corse,
      Or as the acorn on the oak?
      Can we suppress the old Remorse?
      Ah, in what philtre, wine, or spell,
      May we drown this our ancient foe,
      Destructive glutton, gorging well,
      Patient as the ants, and slow?
      What wine, what philtre, or what spell?
      Tell it, enchantress, if you can,
      Tell me, with anguish overcast,
      Wounded, as a dying man,
      Beneath the swift hoofs hurrying past.
      Tell it, enchantress, if you can,
      To him the wolf already tears
      Who sees the carrion pinions wave,
      This broken warrior who despairs
      To have a cross above his grave–
      This wretch the wolf already tears.
      Can one illume a leaden sky,
      Or tear apart the shadowy veil
      Thicker than pitch, no star on high,
      Not one funereal glimmer pale
      Can one illume a leaden sky?
      Hope lit the windows of the Inn,
      But now that shining flame is dead;
      And how shall martyred pilgrims win
      Along the moonless road they tread?
      Satan has darkened all the Inn!
      Witch, do you love accursèd hearts?
      Say, do you know, the reprobate?
      Know you Remorse, whose venomed darts
      Make souls the targets of their hate?
      Witch, do you know accursèd hearts?
      The Might-have-been with tooth accursed
      Gnaws at the piteous souls of men,
      The deep foundations suffer first,
      And all the structure crumbles then
      Beneath the bitter tooth accursed.
      Often, when seated at the play,
      And sonorous music lights the stage,
      I see the frail hand of a Fay
      With magic dawn illume the rage
      Of the dark sky. Oft at the play
      A being made of gauze and fire
      Casts to the earth a Demon great.
      And my heart, whence all hopes expire,
      Is like a stage where I await,
      In vain, the Fay with wings of fire!

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