You'd Entertain The Universe In Bed

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

You'd entertain the universe in bed,
Foul woman; ennui makes you mean of soul.
To exercise your jaws at this strange sport
Each day you work a heart between your teeth.
Your eyes, illuminated like boutiques
Or blazing stanchions at a public fair,
Use haughtily a power not their own,
With no awareness of their beauty's law.

Blind, deaf machine, fertile in cruelties!
Valuable tool, that drinks the whole world's blood,
Why are you not ashamed, how have you not
In mirrors seen your many charms turn pale?
The magnitude of all your evil schemes,
Has this, then, never shrunk your heart with fear,
When Nature, mighty in her secret plans,
Makes use of you, o woman! queen of sins!
Of you, vile beast - to mould a genius?

O filthy grandeur! o sublime disgrace!

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