by: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
- hortly we will plunge within the frigid gloom,
- Farewell swift summer brightness; all too short--
- I hear already sounding with a death-like boom
- The wood that falls upon the pavement of the court.
- The whole of winter enters in my Being--pain,
- Hate, honor, labour hard and forced--and dread,
- And like the northern sun upon its polar plane
- My heart will soon be but a stone, iced and red.
- I listen trembling unto every log that falls,
- The scaffold, which they build, has not a duller sound,
- My spirits waver, like the trembling tower walls
- That shake--with every echoing blow the builders pound.
- Meeseemeth--as to these monotonous blows I sway,
- They nail for one a coffin lid, or sound a knell--
- For whom? Autumn now--and summer yesterday!
- This strange mysterious noise betokens a farewell.
- I love within your oblong eyes the verdant rays,
- My sweet! but bitter everything to-day meseems:
- And nought--your love, the boudoir, nor the flickering blaze,
- Can replace the sun that o'er the screen streams.
- And yet bemother and caress me, tender heart!
- Even me the thankless and the worthless one;
- Beloved or sister--unto me the sweets impart
- Of a glorious autumn or a sinking sun.
- Ephemeral task! the beckoning the beckoning empty tomb is set!
- Oh grant me--as upon your knees my head I lay,
- (Because the white and torrid summer I regret),
- To taste the parted season's mild and amber ray.
MORE POEMS BY CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
|"Autumn Song" is reprinted from The Flowers of Evil. Charles Baudelaire. London: Elkin Mathews, 1909.