Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FORMER LIFE, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE



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THE FORMER LIFE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Long years I lived under vast porticoes
Last Line: To fathom that made all my being languish.


Long years I lived under vast porticoes
That thousand fires of ocean suns stained bright.
Their huge, straight, stately columns, at twilight,
As if in grottoes of basalt uprose.

The coursing waves, where rolled the imaged skies,
Mingled in their mysterious, solemn modes
Reverberant music, surging strophic odes,
With sunset colors flashing on my eyes.

There dwelt I in the long voluptuous calms
Amid those splendors, azure skies, the waves,
And bodies heavy with perfumes, nude slaves

Who fanned my forehead with great leaves of palms
And knew one care alone: that secret anguish
To fathom that made all my being languish.





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