Lethe

Come to my heart, cruel, insensible one,
Adored tiger, monster with the indolent air;
I would for a long time plunge my trembling fingers
Into the heavy tresses of your hair;

And in your garments that exhale your perfume
I would bury my aching head,
And breathe, like a withered flower,
The sweet, stale reek of my love that is dead.

I want to sleep! sleep rather than live!
And in a slumber, dubious as the tomb's,
I would lavish my kisses without remorse
Upon the burnished copper of your limbs.

To swallow my abated sobs
Nothing equals your bed's abyss;
Forgetfulness dwells in your mouth,
And Lethe flows from your kiss.

My destiny, henceforth my pleasure,
I shall obey, predestined instrument,
Docile martyr, condemned innocent,
Whose fervour but augments his torment.

I shall suck, to drown my rancour,
Nepenthe, hemlock, an opiate,
At the charming tips of this pointed breast
That has never imprisoned a heart.

by Charles Baudelaire

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