Charles Baudelaire

Hatred's Cask

Hatred is the cask of the pale Danaides; Bewildered Vengeance with arms red and strong Vainly pours into its empty darkness Great pailfuls of the blood and the tears of the dead; The Demon makes secret holes in this abyss, Whence would escape a thousand years of sweat and strain, Even if she could revive her victims, Could restore their bodies, to squeeze them dry once more. Hatred is a drunkard in a tavern, Who feels his thirst grow greater with each drink And multiply itself like the Lernaean hydra. - While fortunate drinkers know they can be conquered, Hatred is condemned to this lamentable fate, That she can never fall asleep beneath the table. Translated by - William Aggeler The Cask of Hate The Cask of the pale Danaids is Hate. Vainly Revenge, with red strong arms employed, Precipitates her buckets, in a spate Of blood and tears, to feed the empty void. The Fiend bores secret holes to these abysms By which a thousand years of sweat and strain Escape, though she'd revive their organisms In order just to bleed them once again. Hate is a drunkard in a tavern staying, Who feels his thirst born of its very cure, Like Lerna's hydra, multiplied by slaying. Gay drinkers of their conqueror are sure, And Hate is doomed to a sad fate, unable Ever to fall and snore beneath the table. Translated by - Roy Campbell

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