Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CRACKED BELL, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE



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THE CRACKED BELL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It is bitter and sweet, during the winter nights
Last Line: And who dies, without moving, in immense throes of dread!


It is bitter and sweet, during the Winter nights,
To listen, by the quivering and smoking hearth-log,
To the memories withdrawn that ascend in slow flights
On the carillons whose music sings out through the fog.

Thrice fortunate the bell with a vigorous throat
That, in spite of old age, alert and still robust,
Flings faithfully the challenge of its religious note,
Like a veteran campaigner keeping watch at his post.

As for me, my soul's cracked, and when in gloom it longs
To people the chill air of the night with its songs,
It often befalls me that its enfeebled call

Seems a wounded man's rattle, forgotten by all
By a lake of blood under a vast heap of dead,
And who dies, without moving, in immense throes of dread!





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