Dream Of A Curious Man

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

for F.N.

Do you, as I do, know a zesty grief,
And is it said of you, 'curious man!'
I dreamed of dying; in my spirit's heat
Desire and horror mixed, a strange mischance;

Anguish and ardent hope were tightly knit;
The more the fatal glass was drained of sand
The more I suffered, and I savoured it;
My heart pulled out of the familiar, and

I was a child, eager to see a play,
Hating the curtain standing in the way...
At last the chilling verity came on:

Yes, I was dead, and in the dreadful dawn
Was wrapped. And what! That's all there is to tell?
The screen was raised, and I was waiting still.

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