The Murderer's Wine

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

My wife is dead and I am free!
And I can guzzle all I want.
When I came home without a cent
Her crying knifed the heart in me.

I am as happy as a king;
The air is pure, the sky divine...
We had such sky another time
When first our love was blossoming!

The awful thirst I feel today
Would need, to get it rightly slaked,
All of the wine that it would take
To fill her tomb; - a lot to say:

I threw her in a well, and then
I even pitched some heavy stones
Out of the well-curb on her bones.
0, I'll forget her, if I can!

Naming those vows of tenderness
From which no power can set us free,
To reconcile us, as when we
Loved with a drunken happiness,

One night, along a road I named,
I begged her for a rendezvous.
She came!-a crazy thing to do!
But more or less we're all insane!

She was still pretty, though a sight
Tired with age and troubles. I,
I loved her too much. That is why
I said to her: you die tonight!

No one can understand me. Crowds
Of loutish drunks, not one could think
In his most morbid nights of drink
Of turning wine into a shroud.

Scum of the earth, this doltish crew,
Like iron mechanisms all,
Never, in winter, spring or fall
Have understood what love can do.

Love with its dark, enchanting pains,
Troupe of anxieties from hell,
Its flasks of poison, tears as well,
Its rattlings of bones and chains!

Now I am free and stand alone!
Dead drunk is what I'll get right here
And then, without remorse or fear,
I'll make my bed on dirt and stone

And sleep as any dog would do!
That cart with heavy wheels, the truck
Loaded with rocks and city muck,
That runaway I welcome to

Come crush my head, or it might well
Cut me in half right where I am,
And I don't give a good god-damn
For God, Communion, or for Hell!

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