The Desire for Annihilation


Charles Baudelaire

Dejected soul, once eager for strife,

Hope, whose spur fanned your ardor into flame,

No longer wishes to mount you! Lie down shamelessly,

Old horse who stumbles over every rut.

Resign yourself, my heart; sleep your brutish sleep.

Conquered, foundered spirit! For you, old jade,

Love has no more desire, no more than war;

Farewell then, songs of the brass and sighs of the flute!

Pleasure, tempt a dark, sullen heart no more !

Adorable spring has lost its fragrance!

And minute by minute Time engulfs me,

As the immense snow engulfs a stiffening corpse;

I gaze from above at the roundness of the globe

And no longer do I seek there the shelter of a hut.

Avalanche, will you sweep me along as you fall?

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