Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Spleen - Poem by Charles Baudelaire

I'm like the king of a rain-country, rich
but sterile, young but with an old wolf's itch,
one who escapes Fénelon's apologues,
and kills the day in boredom with his dogs;
nothing cheers him, darts, tennis, falconry,
his people dying by the balcony;
the bawdry of the pet hermaphrodite
no longer gets him through a single night;
his bed of fleur-de-lys becomes a tomb;
even the ladies of the court, for whom
all kings are beautiful, cannot put on
shameful enough dresses for this skeleton;
the scholar who makes his gold cannot invent
washes to cleanse the poisoned element;
even in baths of blood, Rome's legacy,
our tyrants' solace in senility,
we cannot warm up his shot corpse, whose food
is syrup-green Lethean ooze, not blood.


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Read poems about / on: food, beautiful, rain, green, people, night, dog



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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