""dormir plutôt que vivre!" "Dans un sommeil aussi doux que la mort..." "

 "I wish to sleep! to sleep rather than live!/ In a slumber doubtful as death". These are lines from a poem by Charles Baudelaire called 'Le Léthé', from his famous book Les Fleurs du Mal:


Come, lie upon my breast, cruel, insensitive soul,

Adored tigress, monster with the indolent air;

I want to plunge trembling fingers for a long time

In the thickness of your heavy mane,


To bury my head, full of pain

In your skirts redolent of your perfume,

To inhale, as from a withered flower,

The moldy sweetness of my defunct love.


I wish to sleep! to sleep rather than live!

In a slumber doubtful as death,

I shall remorselessly cover with my kisses

Your lovely body polished like copper.


To bury my subdued sobbing

Nothing equals the abyss of your bed,

Potent oblivion dwells upon your lips

And Lethe flows in your kisses.


My fate, hereafter my delight,

I'll obey like one predestined;

Docile martyr, innocent man condemned,

Whose fervor aggravates the punishment.


I shall suck, to drown my rancor,

Nepenthe and the good hemlock

From the charming tips of those pointed breasts

That have never guarded a heart.


(trans. William Aggeler)