DE PROFUNDIS CLAMAVI

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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

O my sole love, I pray thee pity me
From out this dark gulf where my poor heart lies
A barren world hemmed in by leaden skies
Where horror flies at night, and blasphemy.

For half the year the sickly sun is seen,
The other half thick night lies on the land,
A country bleaker than the polar strand;
No beasts, no brooks, nor any shred of green.

There never was a horror which surpassed
This icy sun’s cold cruelty, and this vast
Night like primæval Chaos; would I were

Like the dumb brutes, who in a secret lair
Lie wrapt in stupid slumber for a space. . . .
The time creeps at so burdensome a pace.

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

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