Spleen

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

More memories than if I'd lived a thousand years!

A giant chest of drawers, stuffed to the full
With balance sheets, love letters, lawsuits, verse
Romances, locks of hair rolled in receipts,
Hides fewer secrets than my sullen skull.
It is a pyramid, a giant vault
Holding more corpses than a common grave.
I am a graveyard hated by the moon
Where like remorse the long worms crawl, and turn
Attention to the dearest of my dead.
I am a dusty boudoir where are heaped
Yesterday's fashions, and where withered roses,
Pale pastels, and faded old Bouchers,
Alone, breathe perfume from an opened flask.

Nothing is longer than the limping days
When under heavy snowflakes of the years,
Ennui, the fruit of dulling lassitude,
Takes on the size of immortality.
Henceforth, o living flesh, you are no more!
You are of granite, wrapped in a vague dread,
Slumbering in some Sahara's hazy sands,
An ancient sphinx lost to a careless world,
Forgotten on the map, whose haughty mood
Sings only in the glow of setting sun.

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