Poet under the influence of hashish
Self portrait drawn w. pen by Charles Baudelaire
reproduced in Les fleurs du mal, Kultura, Beograd, 1970
[this copy I have is especially dear to me since it was a gift from my mum to my dad when they started to date back in 1974]
THE MOON, who is caprice itself, looked through the window while you were sleeping in your cradle, and said to herself: ‘I like this child.’
However, in the expansion of her joy, the Moon filled the whole room with phosphorescent vapour, like a luminous poison; and all the living light thought and said: ‘You shall suffer for ever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle!
And that, my dear, cursed, spoiled child, is why I am now lying at your feet, seeking in all your person the reflection of the formidable divinity, of the foreknowing godmother, the poisoning wet-nurse of all the lunatics.
Charles Baudelaire, 1869
And your heart, bruised like a peach,
Is as ripe as your body for sophisticated love.
great find! and with frontispiece by Felicien Rops;]
[Les Epaves version here]
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without title-page, dark morocco gilt by Charles Meunier