That Kind Heart You Were Jealous Of, My Nurse

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

That kind heart you were jealous of, my nurse
Who sleeps her sleep beneath the humble turf,
I'd like to give her flowers, wouldn't you?
The dead, the poor dead, have their sorrows too,
And when October trims the branches down,
Blowing its sombre wind around their stones,
The living seem ungrateful to the dead,
For sleeping as they do, warm in their beds;
Meanwhile, devoured by black imaginings,
No bedmate, and without good gossiping,
Worked by the worm, cold skeletons below
Seem to be filtering the winter's snows,
And time flows by, no family who will
Tend to the scraps that hang from iron grills.

If in the dusk, while logs would smoke and sing,
I'd see her in the armchair, pondering,
Or find her in a night of wintry gloom
Abinding in a corner of my room,
Grae spirit, who'd ascended from her pain
To watch with love her grown-up child again,
What could I offer this most pious soul,
Watching her tears fall from their hollow holes?

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