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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

In a soil full of snails and free from stones
I fain would dig myself a pit full deep,
Where I might lay at ease my agèd bones
And, like a wave-borne shark, forgetful sleep.

For testaments I hate, and tombs I hate;
Rather than crave a tear from human eyes
I would invite the crows their hunger sate
Upon my corpse’s foul extremities.

O worms! O black, deaf, sightless company!
There comes to you a dead man glad and free.
O philosophic sons of rottenness,
Across my ruin crawl without remorse,
And tell if any pain may yet oppress
This old and soulless death-surrounded corse.

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

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