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Charles Baudelaire
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The Joyous Defunct (Le Mort joyeux)
by Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Cyril Scott (1909).

Where snails abound — in a juicy soil,
I will dig for myself a fathomless grave,
Where at leisure mine ancient bones I can coil,
And sleep — quite forgotten — like a shark 'neath the wave.

I hate every tomb — I abominate wills,
And rather than tears from the world to implore,
I would ask of the crows with their vampire bills
To devour every bit of my carcass impure.

Oh worms, without eyes, without ears, black friends!
To you a defunct-one, rejoicing, descends,
Enlivened Philosophers — offspring of Dung!

Without any qualms, o'er my wreckage spread,
And tell if some torment there still can be wrung
For this soul-less old frame that is dead 'midst the dead!


PAGE 2 OF 2.

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AUTHOR: Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by Cyril Scott (1909).
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