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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

You are an autumn sky, suffused with rose. . . .
Yet sadness rises in me like the sea,
And on my sombre lip, when it outflows,
Leaves its salt burning slime for memory.

Over my swooning breast your fingers stray;
In vain, alas! My breast is a void pit
Sacked by the tooth and claw of woman. Nay,
Seek not my heart; the beasts have eaten it!

My heart is as a palace plunderèd
By the wolves, wherein they gorge and rend and kill,
A perfume round thy naked throat is shed. . . .

Beauty, strong scourge of souls, O work thy will!
Scorch with thy fiery eyes which shine like feasts
These shreds of flesh rejected by the beasts!

Blossoms of Evil (1857)
by Charles Baudelaire - Translated by John Collings Squire

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