Charles Baudelaire

9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris

The Bad Monk

On the great walls of ancient cloisters were nailed
Murals displaying Truth the saint,
Whose effect, reheating the pious entrails
Brought to an austere chill a warming paint.

In the times when Christ was seeded around,
More than one illustrious monk, today unknown
Took for a studio the funeral grounds
And glorified Death as the one way shown.

—My soul is a tomb, an empty confine
Since eternity I scour and I reside;
Nothing hangs on the walls of this hideous sty.

O lazy monk! When will I see
The living spectacle of my misery,
The work of my hands and the love of my eyes?
Translated by William A. Sigler
Submitted by Ryan McGuire
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