The Poison

Clark Ashton Smith

(Translated "from the French of Charles Pierre Baudelaire")

Wine can invest the must sordid hovel with a miraculous luxury, and can build many a fabulous portico in its red and golden vapors, like a sun setting in a cloudy heaven.

Opium can aggrandize the things that have no bourn, can lengthen illimitable, deepen time and voluptuousness, and fill the soul with dark and mournful pleasures beyond its capacity.

But these things are less than the poison flowing from thine eyes, from thy green eyes, those lakes whereat my soul trembles, seeing therein its own inverted image. . . . My dreams for ever come in throngs quench their thirst at those gulfs of bitter emerald.

But these things are less than the dire prodigy of thy mordant saliva that plunges my soul into oblivion without remorse, and rolls it, falling and fainting, borne in a chariot of vertigo, to the very shores of Death!

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page