The Two Good Sisters

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

Debauch and Death are a fine, healthy pair
Of girls, whose love is prodigal and free.
Their virgin wombs, beneath the rags they wear,
Are barren, though they labour constantly.

To the arch poet, foe of families,
Hell's favourite, a cut-rate whore at court,
Brothels and tombs show in dark galleries
A bed never frequented by remorse.

And coffin, alcove, rich in blasphemy,
As two good sisters would, offer as treats
Terrible pleasures, horrifying sweets.

Debauch, when will your clutches bury me? a rival
Death, will you be coming now
To graft black cypress to her myrtle bough?

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