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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

O Moon, O lamp of hill and secret dale!
Thou whom our fathers, ages out of mind,
Worshipped in thy blue heaven, whilst behind
Thy stars streamed after thee a glittering trail,

Dost see the poet, weary-eyed and pale,
Or lovers on their happy beds reclined,
Showing white teeth in sleep, or vipers twined,
’Neath the dry sward; or in a golden veil

Stealest thou with faint footfall o’er the grass
As of old, to kiss from twilight unto dawn
The faded charms of thine Endymion?. . . .

“O child of this sick century, I see
Thy grey-haired mother leering in her glass
And plastering the breast that suckled thee!”

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

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