Spleen

Original Text: 

The Poems of Charles Baudelaire, trans. Frank Pearce Sturm (London: Walter Scott, 1906)

1I'm like some king in whose corrupted veins
2Flows agèd blood; who rules a land of rains;
3Who, young in years, is old in all distress;
4Who flees good counsel to find weariness
5Among his dogs and playthings, who is stirred
6Neither by hunting-hound nor hunting-bird;
7Whose weary face emotion moves no more
8E'en when his people die before his door.
9His favorite Jester's most fantastic wile
10Upon that sick, cruel face can raise no smile;
11The courtly dames, to whom all kings are good,
12Can lighten this young skeleton's dull mood
13No more with shameless toilets. In his gloom
14Even his lilied bed becomes a tomb.
15The sage who takes his gold essays in vain
16To purge away the old corrupted strain,
17His baths of blood, that in the days of old
18The Romans used when their hot blood grew cold,
19Will never warm this dead man's bloodless pains,
20For green Lethean water fills his veins.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Form: