Six French Poets of the Nineteenth Century: Lamartine, Hugo, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarme

By E. H. Blackmore; A. M. Blackmore | Go to book overview

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

from Les Fleurs du mal

Au Lecteur

La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine
.

Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches; 5
Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux,
Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux,
Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches
.

Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est Satan Trismégiste

Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté, 10
Et le riche métal de notre volonté
Est tout vaporisé par ce savant chimiste
.

C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent!
Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas;

Chaque jour vers l'Enfer nous descendons d'un pas, 15
Sans horreur, à travers des ténèbres qui puent.

Ainsi qu'un débauché pauvre qui baise et mange
Le sein martyrisé d'une antique catin,
Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin

Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange. 20

Serré, fourmillant, comme un million d'helminthes, Dans nos cerveaux ribote un peuple de Démons,
Et, quand nous respirons, la Mort dans nos poumons
Descend, fleuve invisible, avec de sourdes plaintes
.

-146-

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