27 November 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 3

The Fountain of Blood

It seems to me sometimes my blood is bubbling out

As fountains do, in rhythmic sobs; I feel it spout

And lapse; I hear it plainly; it makes a murmuring sound;

But from what wound it wells, so far I have not found.

As blood runs in the lists, round tumbled armored bones,

It soaks the city, islanding the paving-stones;

Everything thirsty leans to lap it, with stretched head;

Trees suck it up; it stains their trunks and branches red.

I turn to wine for respite, I drink, and I drink deep;

(Just for one day, one day, neither to see nor hear!)

Wine only renders sharper the frantic eye and ear.

In terror I cry to love, "Oh, put my mind to sleep!"

But love for me is only a mattress where I shrink

On needles, and my blood is given to whores to drink.

– Edna St. Vincent Millay, Tr.

About the author:

1821-1867. Charles Baudelaire was among the most important poets of the nineteenth century. His most famous collection is Les Fleurs du mal ("The Flowers of Evil"). Learn more about Charles Baudelaire at Wikipedia.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Charles Baudelaire at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 3, where "The Fountain of Blood" ran on November 27, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, translation, rhyme.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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