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Charles Baudelaire
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The Soul of Wine (L'Âme du vin)
by Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Guy Thorne (1915).

Vermilion the seals of my prison,
Cold crystal its walls, and my voice
Singeth loud through the evening; a vision
That bid'st thee rejoice!
Disinherited! outcast! — I call thee
To pour, and my song in despite
Of the World shall enfold and enthrall thee
Pulsating with light!

Long labours, fierce ardours, and blazing
Of suns on far hill-sides, and strife
Of the toilers have gone to the raising
Of me into life!
I forget not their pains, for I render
Rewards; yea! in full-brimming bowl
To those who have helped to engender
My passionate soul!

My joys are unnumbered, unending,
When I rise from chill cellars to lave
The hot throat of Labour, ascending
As one from the grave.
The Sabbath refrains that thou nearest,
The whispering hope in my breast,
Shalt call thee, dishevelled and dearest!
To ultimate rest.

The woman thy youthfulness captured,
Who bore thee a son — this thy wife —
I will give back bright eyes, which enraptured
Shall see thee as Life!
Thy son, a frail athlete, I dower
With all my red strength, and the toil
Of his life shall be king-like in power,
. . . Anointed with oil!

. . . . . .

To thee I will bow me, thou fairest
Gold grain from the Sower above.
Ambrosia I wedded, and rarest
The fruits of our love.
High God round His feet shall discover
The verses I made, in the hours
When I was thy slave and thy lover,
Press upwards like flowers!


PAGE 3 OF 3.

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AUTHOR: Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Guy Thorne (1915).
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