The Vampire


Charles Baudelaire

You that, like a daggerís thrust,

Have entered my complaining heart,

You that, stronger than a host

Of demons, came, wild yet prepared;

Within my mindís humility

You made your bed and your domain;

— Infamous one whoís bound to me

Like any felon by his chain,

Like a gambler by his games,

Like the bottle and the sot,

Like the worms in oneís remains,

— Damn you! Damnation be your lot!

Iíve begged the merciful, swift sword

To overcome my liberty —

To poison I have said the word:

Save me from poltroonery.

Alas the sword! Alas the poison!

Contemptuous, they spoke to me:

"You never can deserve remission

Of your accursed slavery,

"Imbecile! — If our deadly empire

Freed you from your present fate,

Your kiss would soon resuscitate

The cold cadaver of your vampire!"

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