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The Enemy

Translation

My youth was nothing but a tenebrous storm,
Pierced now and again by a radiant sun;
The thunder and the rain have left it so torn,
That in my garden remain but a few red fruits.

Now then have I reached the Fall of ideas,
And must so take to the shovel and the rakes
To put back together again this flooded earth,
Where the water digs holes the size of graves.

And who knows if the new flowers that I dream
One day will find in this same soil, washed like a shore,
The mystical nutrient to make their vigor?

—O pain! O pain! Time eats at life with hunger,
And the dark Enemy that gnaws our heart,
From the blood we lose, grows, and grows stronger!

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
© Alex Rodallec

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