Charles Baudelaire

Epigraph for a Condemned Book

Quiet and bucolic reader, Upright man, sober and naive, Throw away this book, saturnine, Orgiac and melancholy. If you did not do your rhetoric With Satan, that artful dean, Throw it away, you'd grasp nothing, Or else think me hysterical. But if, without being entranced, Your eye can plunge in the abyss, Read me, to learn to love me; Inquisitive soul that suffers And keeps on seeking paradise, Pity me!... or else, I curse you! Translated by - William Aggeler Epigraph for a Condemned Book Dear reader, peaceful and bucolic, Ingenuous, sober, hierophantic, Lay by this book so corybantic, So Saturnine, and melancholic. If elsewhere than in Satan's school You learned your syntax and your grammar, Lay by! You'll think I rave and stammer And am a stark, hysteric fool. But if, not yielding to their charm, Your eye can plumb the gulfs of harm - Then learn to love me, read my verses. Inquiring sufferer, who seek Your Paradise, to you I speak: Pity me!... else, receive my curses! Translated by - Roy Campbell

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