The Enemy

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

My youth was nothing but a black storm
Crossed now and then by brilliant suns.
The thunder and the rain so ravage the shores
Nothing's left of the fruit my garden held once.

I should employ the rake and the plow,
Having reached the autumn of ideas,
To restore this inundated ground
Where the deep grooves of water form tombs in the lees.

And who knows if the new flowers you dreamed
Will find in a soil stripped and cleaned
The mystic nourishment that fortifies?

O Sorrow — O Sorrow — Time consumes Life,
And the obscure enemy that gnaws at my heart
Uses the blood that I lose to play my part.

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