Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MORNING TWILIGHT, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MORNING TWILIGHT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Reveille rang out in the barracks-courts
Last Line: Takes up its tools like an old laborer.

Reveille rang out in the barracks-courts,
And the morning wind blew on the street lamps.

It was the hour when injurious dreams
Twist the brown adolescents on their pillows;
When, like a bleeding, palpitating eye,
The lamp makes a red spot against the day;
When the soul, weighted down with the dull body,
Imitates the struggle of lamp and day.
Like a tear-drenched face dried by the breezes,
The air fills with the shiver of flying things;
Man tires of writing, woman of making love.

Here and there the houses begin to smoke.
Women of pleasure, their eyelids livid,
Slept with open mouths their stupefied sleep;
The beggar girls, dragging their thin, cold breasts,
Blow on their brands and blow on their fingers.
At that hour, with cold and frugality,
The pains of women in labor grow worse;
Like a sob sliced in two by foamy blood
A rooster's far-off cry rends the misty air;
Buildings are bathed in a sea of fog,
And deep in the poorhouses the dying
Give out their last rattle in broken hiccups.
The debauchees come home, spent with their toil.

Dawn, shivering in pink and green garments,
Comes slowly over the deserted Seine,
And, rubbing its eyes, a somber Paris
Takes up its tools like an old laborer.

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