Remorse After Death

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

When, sullen beauty, you will sleep and have
As resting place a fine black marble tomb,
When for a boudoir in your manor-home
You have a hollow pit, a sodden cave,

When stone, now heavy on your fearful breast
And loins once supple in their tempered fire,
Will stop your heart from beating, and desire,
And keep your straying feet from wantonness,

The Tomb, who knows what yearning is about
(The Tomb grasps what the poet has to say)
Will question you these nights you cannot rest,

'Vain courtesan, how could you live that way
And not have known what all the dead cry out?'
And like remorse the worm will gnaw your flesh.

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