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Charles Baudelaire
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Reversibility (Réversibilité)
by Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by F.P. Sturm (1906).

Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief?
Shame and remorse and sobs and weary spite,
And the vague terrors of the fearful night
That crush the heart up like a crumpled leaf?
Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief?

Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate?
With hands clenched in the shade and tears of gall,
When Vengeance beats her hellish battle-call,
And makes herself the captain of our fate,
Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate?

Angel of health, did ever you know pain,
Which like an exile trails his tired footfalls
The cold length of the white infirmary walls,
With lips compressed, seeking the sun in vain?
Angel of health, did ever you know pain?

Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know?
Know you the fear of age, the torment vile
Of reading secret horror in the smile
Of eyes your eyes have loved since long ago?
Angel of beauty, do you wrinkles know?

Angel of happiness, and joy, and light,
Old David would have asked for youth afresh
From the pure touch of your enchanted flesh;
I but implore your prayers to aid my plight,
Angel of happiness, and joy, and light.


PAGE 2 OF 2.

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AUTHOR: Charles Baudelaire (1857); translated by F.P. Sturm (1906).
TITLE OF WEBPAGE: PoeticSpace:Baudelaire:Poems:Reversibilite:Page2
TITLE OF WEBSITE: Poetic SpacePUBLISHER: Lannie Brockstein
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