Charles Baudelaire

Cain and Abel

I Race of Abel, sleep, eat and drink; God smiles on you complacently. Race of Cain, crawl on your belly, Die in the mire wretchedly. Race of Abel, your sacrifice Delights the nose of the Seraphim! Race of Cain, will there ever be An ending to your punishment? Race of Abel, see your sowing And your cattle thrive and flourish; Race of Cain, your bowels Howl with hunger like an old dog. Race of Abel, warm your belly At your patriarchal hearth; Race of Cain, shiver with the cold In your cavern, wretched jackal! Race of Abel, love, pullulate! Even your gold has progeny. Race of Cain, with the burning heart, Beware of those intense desires. Race of Abel, you browse and grow Like the insects of the forest! Race of Cain, along the highways Drag your destitute family. II Ah! race of Abel, your carcass Will fertilize the steaming soil! Race of Cain, your appointed task Has not been adequately done; Race of Abel, your disgrace is: The sword is conquered by the pike! Race of Cain, ascend to heaven, And cast God down upon the earth! Translated by - William Aggeler Abel and Cain I Tribe of Abel, sleep, drink and eat, for God gives you his indulgent smile. Tribe of Cain, crawl in the shit, die like a dog. Tribe of Abel, how sweet your offerings smell in the nostrils of the Seraphim. Tribe of Cain, will your agony never end? Tribe of Abel, see how your seed prospers, how your cattle thrive. Tribe of Cain, your guts howl with hunger like an old cur. Tribe of Abel, warm your belly before the patriarch's hearth. Tribe of Cain, tremble with cold in your hole in the ground, you miserable jackal. Tribe of Abel, be amorous and increase: your gold also will multiply. Tribe of Cain, however much your heart might burn with love, beware of all great desires. Tribe of Abel, bloat and guzzle like woodlice. Tribe of Cain, drag your hounded wife and children with you down the roads. II Tribe of Abel, one day your carcass will manure the fetid soil. Tribe of Cain, your task is not yet done. Tribe of Abel, your shame will come when the sword is shattered by the peasants' stake. Tribe of Cain, ascend to heaven, and throw God down to earth. Translated by - Francis Scarfe Abel and Cain I Race of Abel! eat, sleep, drink. God smiles on those that he prefers. Race of Cain!in swamps that stink, Crawl, and die the death of curs. Race of Abel! your crops sprout, And your flocks are safe and sound. Race of Cain! your guts howl out In hunger, like an ancient hound. Race of Abel! warm your guts At the patriarchal fire. Race of Cain! in caves and huts Shiver like jackals in the mire. Race of Abel! Pullulate : Your gold too procreates its kind. Race of Cain! Hearts hot with hate, Leave all such appetites behind. Race of Abel! grow and graze, Like woodlice that on timbers prey. Race of Cain! along rough ways Lead forth your family at bay. II Ah! Race of Abel! your fat carrion Will well manure the soil it presses. Race of Cain! One task to carry on Remains for you, a task that presses. Race of Abel! Shame is nigh. The coulter's beaten by the sword. Race of Cain, climb up the sky, And to the earth hurl down the Lord. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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