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Charles Baudelaire Poems

A collection of select Charles Baudelaire famous poems that were written by Charles Baudelaire or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Baudelaire, Charles
 MOTHER of memories, mistress of mistresses, 
O thou, my pleasure, thou, all my desire, 
Thou shalt recall the beauty of caresses, 
The charm of evenings by the gentle fire, 
Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses! 

The eves illumined by the burning coal, 
The balcony where veiled rose-vapour clings-- 
How soft your breast was then, how sweet your soul! 
Ah,...Read More



by Baudelaire, Charles
 I AM as lovely as a dream in stone, 
And this my heart where each finds death in turn, 
Inspires the poet with a love as lone 
As clay eternal and as taciturn. 

Swan-white of heart, a sphinx no mortal knows, 
My throne is in the heaven's azure deep; 
I hate all movements that disturb my pose, 
I smile...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 I HAVE seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills 
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain: 
I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils, 
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain. 

I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea, 
And seen strange lands...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease, 
No man, woman, or child alive could please 
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh 
Because I sit and frame an epitaph-- 
"Here lies all that no one loved of him 
And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim 
Has wearied. But, though I...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 When, by decree of the supreme power,
The Poet appears in this annoyed world,
His mother, blasphemous out of horror
At God's pity, cries out with fists curled:

"Ah! I'd rather You'd will me a snake's skin
Than to keep feeding this monstrous slur!
I curse that night's ephemera are sins
To make my womb atone for pleasure.

"Since You have chosen me from all the brides
To...Read More



by Baudelaire, Charles
 Nature is a temple where the living pillars
Let go sometimes a blurred speech—
A Forest of symbols passes through a man's reach
And observes him with a familiar regard.

Like the distant echoes that mingle and confound
In a unity of darkness and quiet
Deep as the night, clear as daylight
The perfumes, the colors, the sounds correspond.

The perfume is as fresh as the flesh...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 Above the ponds, beyond the valleys,
The woods, the mountains, the clouds, the seas,
Farther than the sun, the distant breeze,
The spheres that wilt to infinity

My spirit, you move with agility
And, like a good swimmer who swoons in the wave
You groove the depths immensity gave,
The inexpressible and male ecstasy.

>From this miasma of waste,
You will be purified in superior air
And drink a...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 WHEN with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold 
I breathe the burning odours of your breast, 
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest 
Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold. 

Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs 
Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down, 
Where men are upright, maids have never grown 
Unkind, but bear a...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
Always be drunk.
That's it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time's horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness
of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 Voici venir les temps o? vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige! 
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 I love the naked ages long ago 
When statues were gilded by Apollo, 
When men and women of agility 
Could play without lies and anxiety, 
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines, 
As it exercised its noble machine. 
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then, 
Would not place on her daughters a burden, 
But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 ANGEL of gaiety, have you tasted grief? 
Shame and remorse and sobs and weary spite, 
And the vague terrors of the fearful night 
That crush the heart up like a crumpled leaf? 
Angel of gaiety, have you tasted grief? 

Angel of kindness, have you tasted hate? 
With hands clenched in the shade and tears of gall, 
When Vengeance beats...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 Often, to amuse themselves, the crew of the ship
Would fell an albatross, the largest of sea birds,
Indolent companions of their trip
As they slide across the deep sea's bitters.

Scarcely had they dropped to the plank
Than these blue kings, maladroit and ashamed
Let their great white wings sink
Like an oar dragging under the water's plane.

The winged visitor, so awkward and weak!
So recently...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 CARRYING bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves, 
Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves 
With all the careless and high-stepping grace, 
And the extravagant courtesan's thin face. 

Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed? 
Her floating robe, in royal amplitude, 
Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod 
With a bright flower-like shoe that gems...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 YOU are a sky of autumn, pale and rose; 
But all the sea of sadness in my blood 
Surges, and ebbing, leaves my lips morose, 
Salt with the memory of the bitter flood. 

In vain your hand glides my faint bosom o'er, 
That which you seek, beloved, is desecrate 
By woman's tooth and talon; ah, no more 
Seek in...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 Down the street as I was drifting with the city's human tide, 
Came a ghost, and for a moment walked in silence by my side -- 
Now my heart was hard and bitter, and a bitter spirit he, 
So I felt no great aversion to his ghostly company. 
Said the Shade: `At finer feelings let your lip in scorn...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 UNDER the overhanging yews, 
The dark owls sit in solemn state, 
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos 
Their red eyes gleam. They meditate. 

Motionless thus they sit and dream 
Until that melancholy hour 
When, with the sun's last fading gleam, 
The nightly shades assume their power. 

From their still attitude the wise 
Will learn with terror to despise...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 O SWARMING city, city full of dreams, 
Where in a full day the spectre walks and speaks; 
Mighty colossus, in your narrow veins 
My story flows as flows the rising sap. 

One morn, disputing with my tired soul, 
And like a hero stiffening all my nerves, 
I trod a suburb shaken by the jar 
Of rolling wheels, where the...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 My impoverished muse, alas! What have you for me this morning? 
Your empty eyes are stocked with nocturnal visions, 
In your cheek's cold and taciturn reflection, 
I see insanity and horror forming. 
The green succubus and the red urchin, 
Have they poured you fear and love from their urns? 
The nightmare of a mutinous fist that despotically turns, 
Does...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
 THE Demon, in my chamber high, 
This morning came to visit me, 
And, thinking he would find some fault, 
He whispered: "I would know of thee 

Among the many lovely things 
That make the magic of her face, 
Among the beauties, black and rose, 
That make her body's charm and grace, 

Which is most fair?" Thou didst reply 
To...Read More