Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAGES OF PRIDE, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE

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THE WAGES OF PRIDE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In days of wonder, when theology
Last Line: He was the children's sport and mockery.
Subject(s): Pride; Self-esteem; Self-respect

IN days of wonder, when theology
With vaster range of pinion soared on high,
'Tis said, a doctor of resplendent parts,
When he had roused the most phlegmatic hearts
And stirred to life their depths, erst cold and dead,
After he had toward heavenly glories sped
By paths untrod, and to himself unknown,
Paths which perchance pure spirits reach alone,
As one who climbs too high is terrified,
Exclaimed, transported with Satanic pride,
'Yes, Jesus, I've exalted high your name;
But had it been my will instead to blame,
Your glory to contempt had yielded place,
And found henceforth derision and disgrace.'

The words scarce past his lips when reason failed,
His intellectual sun for ever veiled,
All chaos on his darkened mind was poured.
Erst a live fane, well ordered, richly stored,
Beneath whose roof had shone such dazzling light,
Silence in him is now installed, with night--
Like to a cellar where is lost the key.
From that time forth a mere brute beast was he;
And when, nought seeing, he sped forth his way,
Summer nor winter noting, night nor day,
Foul, ugly, useless, like a thing cast by,
He was the children's sport and mockery.

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