Today's poem is by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Rachel Hadas


Come in, sweet Sadness, take your ease, sit back.
You asked for twilight — see! and here it is,
Enveloping the city in its mist,
Soothing to some, to others an attack.

Leave millions squirming under Pleasure's sway.
Flicking his whip, that cruel bully drives
Them to fresh orgies. Oh, what sordid lives!
Come here, dear Sadness, take my hand — away,

Goodbye to all that. Look, the years gone by
Are leaning down from Heaven's balcony.
Out of the sea Regret arises, smiles;

The sun curls up to die. For miles and miles
A shroud unfurls along the eastern sky.
Listen, my darling, Night is walking by.

Copyright © 2004 Rachel Hadas All rights reserved
from The Formalist
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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