by Charles Baudelaire
My youth was a dark storm,
Crossed here and there by brilliant suns;
Thunder and rain have caused such quick ravage
That there remain in my garden very few red fruits.
Now I have touched the autumn of my mind,
And I must use the spade and rakes
To assemble again the drenched lands,
Where the water digs holes as large as graves.
And who knows whether the new flowers I dream of
Will find in this soil washed like a shore
The mystic food which would create their strength?
-- O grief! O grief! Time eats away life,
And the dark Enemy who gnaws the heart
Grows and thrives on the blood we lose.