THE SICK MUSE
by: Charles Baudelaire
Muse, alas, what ails thee, then, to-day?
- Thy hollow eyes with midnight visions burn,
- Upon thy brow in alternation play,
- Folly and Horror, cold and taciturn.
- Have the green lemure and the goblin red,
- Poured on thee love and terror from their urn?
- Or with despotic hand the nightmare dread
- Deep plunged thee in some fabulous Minturne?
- Would that the breast where so deep thoughts arise,
- Breathed forth a healthful perfume with thy sighs;
- Would that thy Christian blood ran wave by wave
- In rhythmic sounds the antique numbers gave,
- When Phoebus shared his alternating reign
- With mighty Pan, lord of the ripening grain.
MORE POEMS BY CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
'The Sick Muse' is reprinted from
The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire. Ed. James
Huneker. New York: Brentano's, 1919.