Poems and Baudelaire Flowers/The Enemy

Poems and Baudelaire Flowers
by Charles Baudelaire, translated by John Collings Squire


Naught but a long blind tempest was my youth,
Sun-shot at times; the thunder and the rain
Have worked their havock with so little ruth
That in my garden few red fruits remain.

Now have I reached the autumn of my thought,
And shovel and pick must use some soil to save
From out the ruins that the rain hath wrought
Where all around great pits gape like the grave.

Who knows if these last flowers of my dreams
Shall find beneath this naked strand that streams
The mystic substance which their strength imparts?

O misery! misery! Time eats our lives,
And that dark Enemy who gnaws our hearts
Grows by the blood he sucks from us, and thrives.