The Happy Corpse

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

In a rich land, fertile, replete with snails
I'd like to dig myself a spacious pit
Where I might spread at leisure myoid bones
And sleep unnoticed, like a shark at sea.

I hate both testaments and epitaphs;
Sooner than beg remembrance from the world
I would, alive, invite the hungry crows
To bleed my tainted carcass inch by inch.

O worms! dark playmates minus ear or eye,
Prepare to meet a free and happy corpse;
Droll philosophies, children of rottenness,

Go then along my ruin guiltlessly,
And say if any torture still exists
For this old soulless corpse, dead with the dead!

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