The Enemy


Charles Baudelaire

My youth has been nothing but a tenebrous storm,

Pierced now and then by rays of brilliant sunshine;

Thunder and rain have wreaked so much havoc

That very few ripe fruits remain in my garden.

I've already reached the autumn of the mind,

And I must set to work with the spade and the rake

To gather back the inundated soil

In which the rain digs holes as big as graves.

And who knows whether the new flowers I dream of

Will find in this earth washed bare like the beach,

The mystic food that would give them vigor?

Alas! Alas! Time nibbles away our lives,

And the hidden Enemy who gnaws at our hearts

Grows by drawing strength from the blood we lose!

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