Flowers of Evil
And when thou'lt have nought for thy house or alcove,
But a cavernous den and a damp oubliette.
When the tomb-stone, oppressing thy timorous breast,
And thy hips drooping sweetly with listless decay,
The pulse and desires of mine heart shall arrest,
And thy feet from pursuing their adventurous way,
Then the grave, that dark friend of my limitless dreams
(For the grave ever readeth the poet aright),
Amid those long nights, which no slumber redeems
'Twill query " What use to thee, incomplete spright
That thou ne'er hast unfathomed the tears of the dead"?
Then the worms will gnaw deep at thy body, like Dread.
Oh, Mother of Memories! Mistress of Mistresses!
Oh, thou all my pleasures, oh, thou all my prayers!
Can'st thou remember those luscious caresses,
The charm of the hearth and the sweet evening airs?
Oh, Mother of Memories, Mistress of Mistresses!
Those evenings illumed by th