The Vampire

You that, like a dagger’s thrust,
Have entered my complaining heart,
You that, stronger than a host
Of demons, came, wild yet prepared;

Within my mind’s humility
You made your bed and your domain;
- Infamous one who’s bound to me
Like any felon by his chain,

Like a gambler by his games,
Like the bottle and the sot,
Like the worms in one’s remains,
- Damm you! Damnation be your lot!

I’ve begged the merciful, swift sword
To overcome my liberty -
To poison I have said the word:
Save me from poltroonery.

Alas the sword! Alas the poison!
Contemptuous, they spoke to m:
"You never can deserve remission
Of your accursed slavery,

"Imbecile! - If our deadly empire
Freed you from your present fate,
Your kiss would soon resuscitate
The cold cadaver of your vampire!"

by Charles Baudelaire

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