The Vampire by Charles Baudelaire

The Vampire

The Vampire

You, who like a dagger ploughed 
Into my heart with deadly thrill: 
You who, stronger than a crowd 
Of demons, mad, and dressed to kill,

Of my dejected soul have made
Your bed, your lodging, and domain:
To whom I'm linked (Unseemly jade!)
As is a convict to his chain,

Or as the gamester to his dice, 
Or as the drunkard to his dram, 
Or as the carrion to its lice — 
I curse you. Would my curse could damn!

I have besought the sudden blade 
To win for me my freedom back. 
Perfidious poison I have prayed 
To help my cowardice. Alack!

Both poison and the sword disdained
My cowardice, and seemed to say
"You are not fit to be unchained
From your damned servitude. Away,

You imbecile! since if from her empire 
We were to liberate the slave, 
You'd raise the carrion of your vampire, 
By your own kisses, from the grave."

By Charles Baudelaire 

Translated by Roy Campbell


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