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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

When Nature in her lavish lustiness
Bred day by day new, strange monstrosities,
Would I had lived with a young giantess
Like a warm cat who at a queen’s feet lies.

’Twere sweet to watch her soul and body blossom
While she disported her in terrible wise;
To guess if a fierce flame burnt in her bosom
By the wet mists that swam within her eyes.

Ah! freely o’er her mighty limbs to run,
To crawl upon the bend of her vast knees,
And when in summer, tired of the pestilent sun,
Across the plain she stretches calm and still,
Within her breasts’ cool shade to sleep at ease
Like some small hamlet sheltered by a hill.

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

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