Charles Baudelaire

Spleen

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I am like the king of a rainy country
Rich, and yet powerless, young and yet most old
Who, distrustful of the bows his tutors make
Sits bored among his dogs as with his other beasts
Nothing can lift his spirits, neither hawk nor game
The dying subjects gathered to his balcony.
The grotesque ballad of his best-loved fool
No more distracts him in this sickness cruel.
His lilied bed is changed into a tomb;
The ladies of his court all lords might love
And yet they can no longer find shameless attire
To draw a smile from their young, wasted sire.
The alchemist who made him gold could not
Purge from his soul this corrupt element
And in a blood bath, as in ancient Rome,
Remembered by the mighty in their latter days
Knew not to warm this dazzled corpse
Where flows not blood but Lethe's waters green.

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Charles Baudelaire