Spleen

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Pluvius, this whole city on his nerves,
Spills from his urn great waves of chilling rain
On graveyards' pallid inmates, and he pours
Mortality in gloomy district streets.

My restless cat goes scratching on the tiles
To make a litter for his scabby hide.
Some poet's phantom roams the gutter-spouts,
Moaning and whimpering like a freezing soul.

A great bell wails-within, the smoking log
Pipes in falsetto to a wheezing clock,
And meanwhile, in a reeking deck of cards


Some dropsied crone's foreboding legacy
The dandy Jack of Hearts and Queen of Spades
Trade sinister accounts of wasted love.

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