The Two Kind Sisters

Clark Ashton Smith

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

Death and Debauch are two lovable girls, prodigal with kisses and rich in health, whose wombs, always virgin and clothed in rags, have never given birth amid all the eternal labor.

To the poet, that ill-paid courtier, that sinister enemy of families, the tombs and lupanars display beneath their bowers a bed that Remorse never frequented.

And the bier and the alcove, teeming with blasphemies, offer us turn, like two kind sisters, their terrible pleasures and their frightful comforts.

O Debauch, when wilt thou inter me in thine impure arms? O Death, when wilt thou come, her rival in all allurements, to graft thy black cypress upon her infected myrtles?

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