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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

’Neath their black yews in solemn state
The owls are sitting in a row
Like foreign gods; and even so
Blink their red eyes; they meditate.

Quite motionless they hold them thus
Until at last the day is done,
And, driving down the slanting sun,
The sad night is victorious.

They teach the wise who gives them ear
That in this world he most should fear
All things which loud or restless be.

Who, dazzled by a passing shade,
Follows it, never will be free
Till the dread penalty be paid.

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

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