A poem by Charles Baudelaire

I might as well be king of rainy lands
Wealthy and young, but impotent and old,
Who scorns the troupe of tutors at his feet
And dallies with his dogs and other beasts.
Nothing can cheer him - game or falconry
Not even subjects dying at his door.
The comic jingles of the court buffoon
Do not amuse this twisted invalid.
His regal bed is nothing but a tomb,
And courtesans, who dote on any prince,
No longer have the antics or the clothes
To get a smile from this young rack of bones.
The alchemist who made him gold cannot
Attend his soul and extirpate the flaw;
Nor in those baths of blood the Romans claimed
Would bring an old man's body youthful force,
Can scholar's knowledge bring to life a corpse
With Lethe's putrid water in its veins.

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