Autumn Sonnet

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

I hear them say to me, your crystal eyes,
'Strange love, what merit do you find in me?'
Be charming and be still! My heart, disturbed
By all except the candour of the flesh

Prefers to hide the secret of its hell
From you whose hand would rock me into sleep,
Nor will it show the legend writ with flame.
Passion I hate, and spirit plays me false!

Let us love gently. Eros in his den,
Hiding in sombre ambush, bends his bow.
I know his arsenal, his worn-out bolts,

Crime, madness, horror-oh pale marguerite,
Are we not both like the autumnal sun,
My o so cool, my fading Marguerite?

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