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Spleen (IV)

by
 Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle
Sur l'esprit gémissant en proie aux longs ennuis,
Et que de l'horizon embrassant tout le cercle
Il nous verse un jour noir plus triste que les nuits; 
Quand la terre est changée en un cachot humide,
Où l'espérance, comme un chauve-souris,
S'en va battant le mur de son aile timide
Et se cognant la tête à des plafonds pourris; 
Quand la pluie étalant ses immenses traînées
D'une vaste prison imite les barreaux,
Et qu'un peuple muet d'infâmes araignées
Vient tendre ses filets au fond de nos cerveaux, 
Des cloches tout à coup sautent avec furie
Et lance vers le ciel un affreux hurlement,
Ainsi que des esprits errants et sans patrie
Qui se mettent à geindre opiniâtrement 
-- Et de longs corbillards, sans tambours ni musique,
Défilent lentement dans mon âme; l'Espoir,
Vaincu, pleure, et l'angoisse atroce, despotique,
Sur mon crâne incliné plante son drapeau noir.

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