poetry

Le Poison

Wine can conceal a sordid room
In rich, miraculous disguise,
And make such porticoes arise
Out of its flushed and crimson fume
As makes the sunset in the skies.

Opium the infinite enlarges,
And lengthens all that is past measure.
It deepens time, and digs its treasure,
With sad, black raptures it o’ercharges
The soul, and surfeits it with pleasure.

Neither are worth the drug so strong
That you distil from your green eyes,
Lakes where I see my soul capsize
Head downwards: and where, in one throng,
I slake my dreams, and quench my sighs.

But to your spittle these seem naught —
It stings and burns. It steeps my thought
And spirit in oblivious gloom,
And, in its dizzy onrush caught,
Dashes it on the shores of doom.

– Charles Baudelaire, Fleurs du Mal

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