Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LID, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE



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THE LID, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Wherever he may be, whether on sea or land
Last Line: Where mankind, vast, infinitesimal, boil!


Wherever he may be, whether on sea or land,
Beneath a sun of white, under a clime of flame,
Servant of Jesus Christ, in Cythera's harlot-band,
Croesus glittering in gold, beggarman without fame:

City or country-dweller, vagabond, sedentary,
Whether his little brain run light or actively,
Man everywhere submits to terror's evil fairy:
And never looks aloft but with a trembling eye.

Above is heaven's cellar-roof that chokes;
A ceiling lit for comic-opera jokes
Staged where each actor treads on bloody soil:
The fear of libertines: the hermit's hope;
The sky, that black lid of that pot of soup
Where mankind, vast, infinitesimal, boil!





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