The Joyful Corpse
by Charles Baudelaire
Slowly, luxuriously, I will hollow a deep grave,
With my own hands, in rich black snail-frequented soil,
And lay me down, forspent with that voluptuous toil,
And go to sleep, as happy as a shark in the wave.
No funeral for me, no sepulcher, no hymns;
Rather than beg for pity when alive, God knows,
I have lain sick and shelterless, and let the crows
Stab to their hearts’ content at my lean festering limbs.
O worms! my small black comrades without ears or eyes,
Taste now for once a mortal who lies down in bliss.
O blithe materialists! O vermin of my last bed!
Come, march remorselessly through me. Come, and devise
Some curious new torment, if you can, for this
Old body without soul and deader than the dead.