by Charles Baudelaire
Thou who, like death’s deceiving stroke,
Knocks at my heart’s deep melancholy;
Thou who, like a troupe of hideous folk
Of demons, wines and maddened Folly,
Of mine own my Spirit humiliated
Makes thine own bed and thy domain,
Infamous, by whom I am vitiated
Like the convict fastened to his chain.
Like to the Gambler with his game reversed,
Like to the drunkard with his wine-bottle,
Like to the vermin that the carrion throttle,
– Be thou for ever and ever accursed!
I have said to the sword perfidious
To lavish on me Liberty,
I have said to the poison insidious
To shake me from my lethargy.
Alas! The poison and the sword that crave thee
Said in disdainful knavery:
“Thou are not worthy that we should save thee
From thine accursed slavery.
Fool! From his empire base and bloody,
If we deliver thee by our hate,
Thy kisses shall resuscitate
Thy Vampire and his buried Body!”